Translation and cross-cultural adaptation of eight pediatric PROMIS® item banks into Spanish and German

Qual Life Res. 2018 Sep;27(9):2415-2430. doi: 10.1007/s11136-018-1874-8. Epub 2018 May 15.


Purpose: The Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded initiative to develop reliable, valid, and normed item banks to measure health. We describe the first large-scale translation and cross-cultural adaptation effort to German and Spanish of eight pediatric PROMIS item banks: Physical activity (PAC), subjective well-being (SWB), experiences of stress (EOS), and family relations (FAM).

Methods: We utilized methods outlined in the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) PRO Translation Task Force recommendations. Ten professional translators performed a translatability assessment and generated forward translations. Forward Translations were compared within a country and cross-culturally to identify problems and to produce a consensus-derived version, which was then back translated, evaluated, and revised where necessary. Reconciled versions were evaluated in cognitive interviews with 126 children before finalization.

Results: Eight resulting pediatric PROMIS® item banks were translated: Two PAC banks (22 total items), three SWB banks (125 total items), two EOS banks (45 total items), and one FAM bank (47 total items). Up to 92% of all items raised no or only minor translation difficulties, 0-5.6% were difficult to translate. Up to 20% item revisions were necessary to ensure conceptual equivalence and comprehensibility. Cognitive interviews indicated that 91-94% of the final items were appropriate for children (8-17 years).

Conclusions: German and Spanish translations of eight PROMIS Pediatric item banks were created for clinical trials and routine pediatric health care. Initial translatability assessment and rigorous translation methodology helped to ensure conceptual equivalence and comprehensibility. Next steps include cross-cultural validation and adaptation studies.

Keywords: Family; Pediatric PROMIS; Physical activity; Stress; Subjective well-being; Translation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Information Systems
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Translating*
  • Translations*