Quality of Life Concepts

Secondary Health Conditions

Sickness Impact Profile (SIP)

Description: A generic health status measure of change in behaviour as a consequence of illness health-related quality of life (QoL).

Format: 136 items describing activities of daily living (ADL), divided into 12 categories: sleep and rest, eating, work, home management, recreation and pastimes, ambulation, mobility, body care and movement, social interaction, alertness behaviour, emotional behaviour, and communication. Patients endorse statements that best describe them that day and are related to their health.
A shorter version of the SIP containing 68 items also is available.

Scoring: Endorsed items are scored on a numeric scale, with higher scores reflecting greater dysfunction. In addition to individual category scores, an aggregate psychosocial score can be derived from four categories, and an aggregate physical score is calculated from three categories.

Administration and Burden: Interviewer-administered; Self-administered. Approximately 20-30 minutes for the SIP; Approximately 15-20 minutes for the SIP 68.

Psychometrics for SCI: There is published data and norms available for a SCI population, as well as for individuals with other disabilities for the SIP 68 [1].  However, the evidence on the psychometric properties of the SIP and SIP 68 for a SCI population is limited and more research is needed to assess reliability and responsiveness. 

Languages: The SIP has been translated into several languages.

QoL Concept: The SIP is a Health-Related QoL measure of independence in performing Activities of Daily Living, which corresponds to Boxes B (societal standards and priorities) and C (achievements; activities of daily living) of Dijker’s Model.

Permissions/Where to Obtain: Copyrighted; The SIP can be obtained from the MAPI Research Trust http://www.mapi-trust.org.  The SIP 68 is available in the following article:

De Bruin A, Diederiks J, De Witte L, Stevens F, Philipsen H. The Development of a Short Generic Version of the Sickness Impact Profile. J Clin Epidemiol 1994;47:407-18


  1. Post MW, Gerritsen J, Diederikst JP, DeWittet LP. Measuring health status of people who are wheelchair dependent: validity of the Sickness Impact Profile 68 and the Nottingham Health Profile. Disabil Rehabil 2001;23:245-53


Pain SCI Studies: One cross-sectional survey.

  1. Lundqvist C, Siosteen A, Blomstrand C, Lind B, Sullivan M. Spinal cord injuries: clinical, functional, and emotional status. Spine 1991;16:78-83.

Sensitivity to Impact: Lundqvist and colleagues (1991) used the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), the Hosptital Anxeity and Depression Scale (HADS), and a non-standardized study-specific questionnaire to define the physical, psychological, and social functioning of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI; N= 98). Patients who recorded pain severe enough to impair their daily life showed lower QoL perceptions and a significant restriction of mobility issues. Overall quality of life (QoL) perceptions were influenced only by having a history of severe pain.

Suggestions for Use: Although the SIP has been used in several SCI studies [2], and the SIP 68 shows some clinical utility for SCI, further research is recommended for establishing the psychometric properties of this tool.

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