The Veterans RAND 12 Item Health Survey (VR-12) is a self-reported global health measure tool that is used to assess a patient’s overall perspective of their health.
Developed from SF-36, VR-12 includes 12 original question items from the VR-36. The questions in this survey correspond to seven different health domains: general health perceptions, physical functioning, role limitations due to physical and emotional problems, bodily pain, energy/fatigue levels, social functioning and mental health. Answers are summarized into two scores, a Physical Component Score (PCS) and a Mental Component Score (MCS) which then provides an important contrast between the respondents physical and psychological health status.
VR-12 is an established outcome tool supported by widespread use and much legacy data behind it. Another similar reporting tool, the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), which is relatively new, is similar in scope to VR-12. Early results indicate that scores from the VR-12 outcome tool can be converted to PROMIS 10 scores.
VR-12 is a popular and widely used global health reporting tool. The short questionnaire does a good job of capturing a patient’s physical and emotional health status. Paired with the VR-36, both VR-12 and VR-36 have been administered more than 7 million times over 15 years. The short form is also represented in more than 150 published articles.
Another advantage of VR-12 is the link it shares with PROMIS. A study carried out by Schalet et al. in 2015 found substantial overlap between both outcome too , and concluded that VR-12 scores can also be expressed on the PROMIS metric to help facilitate the evaluation of treatment.
VR-12 has been used by the orthopedic community for over a decade, but like most global health instruments there’s a distinct lack of score standardization from one instrument to the next. Until now, health professionals had to choose between one data-collection tool or the other, without the ability to harmonize scores across them.
However, new projects such as the PROsetta Stone® project are attempting to address this issue by carrying out research to see if existing instruments can be better aligned with one another in the future.
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- Boston University School of Public Health. About the VR-36, VR-12 and VR-6D.
- Schalet, B. D., Rothrock, N. E., Hays, R. D., Kazis, L. E., Cook, K. F., Rutsohn, J. P., & Cella, D. (2015). Linking Physical and Mental Health Summary Scores from the Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey (VR-12) to the PROMIS® Global Health Scale. Journal of general internal medicine, 30(10), 1524-1530.
- Selim, A. J., Rogers, W., Fleishman, J. A., Qian, S. X., Fincke, B. G., Rothendler, J. A., & Kazis, L. E. (2009). Updated US population standard for the Veterans RAND 12-item Health Survey (VR-12). Quality of Life Research, 18(1), 43-52.
- Selim, A. J., Rogers, W., Qian, S. X., Brazier, J., & Kazis, L. E. (2011). A preference-based measure of health: the VR-6D derived from the veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey. Quality of Life Research, 20(8), 1337-1347.