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Sickness Impact Profile (SIP)
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Authors: Marilyn Bergner, Betty Gilson, Johns Hopkins University
Exploratory: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's Disease (HD) and Mytonic Dystrophy (DM)
Short Description of Instrument
The Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) is a generic Health Status questionnaire consisting of 136 items in 12 categories and 2 dimensions: physical and psychosocial. This behaviorally based patient self report instrument measure of sickness-related dysfunction was designed "to provide an appropriate and sensitive measure of health status for use in assessing the effects of health care services". Domains include: sleep and rest, eating, work, home management, recreation and pastimes, ambulation, mobility, body care and movement, social interaction, alertness behavior, emotional behavior, and communication.
Length of time for administration can be burdensome (20-30 minutes).
Scores are calculated by assigning predetermined weights of severity of dysfunction  and summing the weighted items for a given SIP category. SIP scores are expressed as a percent of total dysfunction, with higher scores representing greater dysfunction.
In addition to 12 category scores, a physical dimension score, a psychosocial dimension score, and an overall summary score can be calculated to summarize results. Higher scores indicate worse health status.
The scoring method has been criticized because the relative contribution of each category to the overall score has little justification. For example, the maximum possible score for each category varies not only by the number of items but by the weightings thereby affecting the contribution of each category towards the overall score.
Gilson BS, Gilson JS, Bergner M, Bobbit RA, Kressel S, Pollard WE, Vesselago M. The sickness impact profile. Development of an outcome measure of health care. Am J Public Health. 1975;65(12):1304-1310.
Bergner M, Bobbitt RA, Carter WB, Gilson BS. The Sickness Impact Profile: development and final revision of a health status measure. Med Care. 1981;19(8):787-805.
MacKenzie CR, Charlson ME, DiGioia D, Kelley K. Can the Sickness Impact Profile measure change? An example of scale assessment. J Chronic Dis. 1986;39(6):429-438.
Pollard WE, Bobbitt RA, Bergner M, Martin DP, Gilson BS. The Sickness Impact Profile: reliability of a health status measure. Med Care. 1976;14(2):146-155.
Document last updated August 2022