Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Global health





First Page


Last Page



International Society of Global Health


Centre for Precision Health / School of Medical and Health Sciences / School of Business and Law / Nutrition & Health Innovation Research Institute




National Natural Science Foundation of China (8177120753)

China-Australia International Collaborative Grant (NHMRC APP1112767, NSFC 81561128020)

European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under grant agreement (No. 779 238)

National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFE0118800)

Centre for Precision Health HDR Student Award ECU (2021-02406-GUO)

Edith Cowan University Higher Degree by Research Scholarship (ECU-HDR ST10468211 and ST10469322) for ZG and YZ

Grant Number

NHMRC Number : APP1112767


Guo, Z., Meng, R., Zheng, Y., Li, X., Zhou, Z., Yu, L., ... & Global Health Epidemiology Research Group. (2022). Translation and cross-cultural validation of a precision health tool, the Suboptimal Health Status Questionnaire-25, in Korean. Journal of Global Health, 12, Article 04077.



Suboptimal health status (SHS) is a reversible stage between health and illness that is characterized by health complaints, low energy, general weakness, and chronic fatigue. The Suboptimal Health Status Questionnaire-25 (SHSQ-25) has been validated in three major populations (African, Asian, and Caucasian) and is internationally recognized as a reliable and robust tool for health estimation in general populations. This study focused on the development of K-SHSQ-25, a Korean version of the SHSQ-25, from its English version.


The SHSQ-25 was translated from English to Korean according to international guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO) for health instrument translation between different languages. A subsequent cross-sectional survey involved 460 healthy South Korean participants (aged 18-83 years; 65.4 % females) to answer the 25 questions focusing on the health perspectives of 5 domains, 1) fatigue, 2) cardiovascular health, 3) digestive tract, 4) immune system and 5) mental health. The K-SHSQ-25 was further validated using tests for reliability, internal consistency, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).


The version of K-SHSQ-25 achieved linguistic, cultural, and conceptual equivalence to the English version. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of test-retest reliability for individual items ranged from 0.88 to 0.99. Reliability estimates based on internal consistency reached a Cronbach’s α of 0.953; the Cronbach’s α for each domain ranged from 0.76 to 0.94. Regarding construct validity, the EFA of the K-SHSQ-25 generally replicated the multidimensional structure (fatigue, cardiovascular, digestive, immune system, and mental health) and 25 questions. The CFA revealed that the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA), goodness-of-fit index (GFI) and adjusted goodness of fit index (AGFI) were excellent (RMSEA = 0.069 < 0.08, GFI = 0.929 > 0.90, AGFI = 0.907 > 0.90). The five domains of the K-SHSQ-25 showed significant correlations with each other (r = 0.59-0.81, P < 0.001). The cut-off point of K-SHSQ-25 for SHS was determined as an SHS score of 25. The prevalence of SHS in this study was 60.0 % (276/460), with 47.8 % (76/159) for males and 58.5 % for females (176/301).


Our results indicate that the Korean version of SHSQ-25, K-SHSQ-25, is a transcultural equivalent, robust, valid, and reliable assessment tool for evaluating SHS in the Korean-speaking population.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.