Rationale, aims and objectives: The diversity of the population worldwide suggests a great need for cross-culturally validated research instruments or scales. Researchers and clinicians must have access to reliable and valid measures of concepts of interest in their own cultures and languages to conduct cross-cultural research and/or provide quality patient care. Although there are well-established methodological approaches for translating, adapting and validating instruments or scales for use in cross-cultural health care research, a great variation in the use of these approaches continues to prevail in the health care literature. Therefore, the objectives of this scholarly paper were to review published recommendations of cross-cultural validation of instruments and scales, and to propose and present a clear and user-friendly guideline for the translation, adaptation and validation of instruments or scales for cross-cultural health care research.
Methods: A review of highly recommended methodological approaches to translation, adaptation and cross-cultural validation of research instruments or scales was performed. Recommendations were summarized and incorporated into a seven-step guideline. Each one of the steps was described and key points were highlighted. Example of a project using the proposed steps of the guideline was fully described.
Conclusions: Translation, adaptation and validation of instruments or scales for cross-cultural research is very time-consuming and requires careful planning and the adoption of rigorous methodological approaches to derive a reliable and valid measure of the concept of interest in the target population.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.