Pilot testing and vernacular translation of a questionnaire for assessment of satisfaction in patients on radiotherapy in India

Indian J Cancer. 2020 Nov 24. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_466_19. Online ahead of print.


Background: Patient satisfaction has emerged as a yardstick to measure success of healthcare ecosystems. OUTPATSAT-35RT is a questionnaire to assess patient satisfaction on outpatient radiotherapy (RT). However, it is yet to be translated and/or validated in any of the common Indian languages.

Methods: English version of OUTPATSAT-35RT was pilot tested in 20 patients with working knowledge of English undergoing fractionated radiotherapy. Subsequently, the questionnaire was translated into two Indian vernacular languages (Hindi and Marathi) using standardized methodology. The process included forward translation into vernacular language by two professional translators independently, generating an intermediate version of the questionnaire. The intermediate questionnaire was then back-translated into English by another duo of professional translators and compared with the English version of the original OUTPATSAT-35RT questionnaire for final reconciliation. This was subsequently administered to 20 patients each (fluent in respective vernacular language) for pilot testing. All 60 patients (20 per language) underwent semi-structured interviews for reporting any difficulty encountered during filling and suggesting any corrections/modifications to the questionnaire.

Results: The pilot testing of the English version of OUTPATSAT-35RT in 20 Indian patients did not reveal any difficulty or suggest corrections/modifications, leading to its successful translation into Hindi and Marathi languages. Pilot testing of the translated questionnaires in 20 patients each (fluent in the respective vernacular language) did not find any major difficulty. No corrections/modifications were suggested by the respondents resulting in adoption of the reconciled vernacular questionnaires as final Hindi and Marathi versions of OUTPATSAT-35RT questionnaire.

Conclusion: The English version of OUTPATSAT-35RT has been successfully translated into Hindi and Marathi languages using standardized methodology. Its psychometric properties are being tested for validation in a larger Indian cohort.

Keywords: Questionnaire; radiotherapy; satisfaction; translation.