Background: Studies on clinical issues, including diagnostic strategies, are considered to be the core content of general practice research. The use of standardised instruments is regarded as an important component for the development of Primary Health Care research capacity. Demand for epidemiological cross-cultural comparisons in the international setting and the use of common instruments and definitions valid to each culture is bigger than ever. Dyspepsia is a common complaint in primary practice but little is known with respect to its incidence in Greece. There are some references about the Helicobacter Pylori infection in patients with functional dyspepsia or gastric ulcer in Greece but there is no specific instrument for the identification of dyspepsia. This paper reports on the validation and translation into Greek, of an English questionnaire for the identification of dyspepsia in the general population and discusses several possibilities of its use in the Greek primary care.
Methods: The selected English postal questionnaire for the identification of people with dyspepsia in the general population consists of 30 items and was developed in 1995. The translation and cultural adaptation of the questionnaire has been performed according to international standards. For the validation of the instrument the internal consistency of the items was established using the alpha coefficient of Chronbach, the reproducibility (test - retest reliability) was measured by kappa correlation coefficient and the criterion validity was calculated against the diagnosis of the patients' records using also kappa correlation coefficient.
Results: The final Greek version of the postal questionnaire for the identification of dyspepsia in the general population was reliably translated. The internal consistency of the questionnaire was good, Chronbach's alpha was found to be 0.88 (95% CI: 0.81-0.93), suggesting that all items were appropriate to measure. Kappa coefficient for reproducibility (test - retest reliability) was found 0.66 (95% CI: 0.62-0.71), whereas the kappa analysis for criterion validity was 0.63 (95% CI: 0.36-0.89).
Conclusion: This study indicates that the Greek translation is comparable with the English-language version in terms of validity and reliability, and is suitable for epidemiological research within the Greek primary health care setting.