Health questionnaires and assessment tools are used increasingly in the health service to help monitor patients’ health status and health-related quality of life. In order to ensure validity and robust research, it is essential that health measures are offered in the participants first language. Furthermore, a rigorous approach to translation is required to ensure that health questionnaires are conceptually and functionally appropriate in the language of the participants. Simply translating does not capture the essence. It is vital that constructs have the same meaning. Different language versions need to have parity, and group comparisons should reflect true group differences rather than linguistic discrepancies or cultural bias in translation.
In the bilingual context of Wales, health questionnaires are required in Welsh as well as English. However, their availability is lacking and there is a shortage of data to describe their performance when administered to patient groups. LLAIS, based at NWORTH, Bangor University is tasked with increasing the availability and accessibility of Welsh language versions of health measures.
This study focuses exclusively on a step by step systematic approach to the linguistic validation of the Welsh language version of the PROMIS-10 global health questionnaire (see http://www.micym.org/llais/static/translations.html for more details on the translation guidelines including forward and back translation, consensus review and cognitive testing).
The cognitive interviewing stage of the step by step linguistic validation included testing out the Welsh measure with 12 service user representatives, lay participants, and healthcare professionals to ensure that the concepts and language was easily understood by native Welsh speakers.
A Welsh language version of the PROMIS-10 is now available for use by clinicians and researchers from the micym.org website which hosts all available Welsh language patient reported outcome measures
The psychometric properties of these measures when administered to a wider patient group will be the focus of a future study.