Objective: The goal of the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) 12 (2014) equity working group was to determine whether and how comprehensibility of patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) should be assessed, to ensure suitability for people with low literacy and differing cultures.
Methods: The English, Dutch, French, and Turkish Health Assessment Questionnaires and English and French Osteoarthritis Knee and Hip Quality of Life questionnaires were evaluated by applying 3 readability formulas: Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid grade level, and Simple Measure of Gobbledygook; and a new tool, the Evaluative Linguistic Framework for Questionnaires, developed to assess text quality of questionnaires. We also considered a study assessing cross-cultural adaptation with/without back-translation and/or expert committee. The results of this preconference work were presented to the equity working group participants to gain their perspectives on the importance of comprehensibility and cross-cultural adaptation for PROM.
Results: Thirty-one OMERACT delegates attended the equity session. Twenty-six participants agreed that PROM should be assessed for comprehensibility and for use of suitable methods (4 abstained, 1 no). Twenty-two participants agreed that cultural equivalency of PROM should be assessed and suitable methods used (7 abstained, 2 no). Special interest group participants identified challenges with cross-cultural adaptation including resources required, and suggested patient involvement for improving translation and adaptation.
Conclusion: Future work will include consensus exercises on what methods are required to ensure PROM are appropriate for people with low literacy and different cultures.
Keywords: CULTURAL ADAPTATION; HEALTH EQUITY; LITERACY; MUSCULOSKELETAL CONDITIONS; RHEUMATOLOGY.