Translating a sensitive orthopaedic diagnostic questionnaire and a health education questionnaire.
Client: The University of Melbourne, Centre for Rheumatic Diseases.
An example of high quality translations is a series of questionnaires from a leading University of Melbourne medical team, developing critical diagnostic and evaluation tools. The University's Centre for Rheumatic Disease had authored the Multi-attribute Arthritis Prioritisation Tool [MAPT], a psychometrically nuanced questionnaire on degrees and consequences of hip and knee pain that allowed accurate prioritisation of patients for hip and knee replacement operations. The interest in this questionnaire has been international - it will be trialled in Japan and France - as well as being used locally, helping to reduce Victoria's Orthopaedic Waiting List. In the case of the French version, this was being undertaken by us when the University of Melbourne team also received a translation from their colleagues in France itself, adding a further loop in the methodology described below. For local consumption and potentially international use the Tool was translated from English into Arabic, English into Chinese, English into Croatian, English into Greek, English into Italian, English into Macedonian, English into Maltese, English into Polish, English into Russian, English into Spanish, English into Turkish and English into Vietnamese. These latter translations can be seen at www.oaservice.org.au
Tasks and challenges
The challenge of this translation was to juggle very precise medical diagnostic categories with a natural language questionnaire that could be understood by averagely educated patients in their language. The methodology included: