Methods to document semantic equivalence of a translated scale

Res Nurs Health. 2003 Feb;26(1):64-73. doi: 10.1002/nur.10066.


To ensure the semantic equivalence of the Postpartum Depression Screening Scale (PDSS)-Spanish Version, multiple methods were used, including back-translation, the committee approach, pretest techniques, and alternate forms equivalence. The back-translation process involved eight translators who represented the four predominant Hispanic groups in the United States. In the committee approach the Hispanic translators convened together to discuss the results of the back-translations and to come to group consensus on problematic items. In pretesting the PDSS-Spanish Version was field-tested with five Hispanic mothers, and it was determined that it accurately captured the connotative meanings of the screening scale. Alternate forms equivalence of the two language versions of the PDSS was assessed with a sample of 30 bilingual Hispanic mothers. Alpha reliability estimates ranged from 0.94 to 0.99. Though lengthy, this systematic procedure was needed to guarantee the production of a fully equivalent linguistic version of the PDSS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / ethnology
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Semantics*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • United States