Translation procedures for standardised quality of life questionnaires: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) approach

Michael Koller, Neil K. Aaronson, Jane M. Blazeby, Andrew Bottomley, Linda Dewolf, Peter Fayers, Colin Johnson, John Ramage, Neil William Scott, Karen West, EORTC Quality of Life Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life (EORTC QL) questionnaires are used in international trials and therefore standardised translation procedures are required. This report summarises the EORTC translation procedure, recent accomplishments and challenges.
Methods: Translations follow a forward-backward procedure, independently carried out by two native-speakers of the target language. Discrepancies are arbitrated by a third consultant, and solutions are reached by consensus. Translated questionnaires undergo a pilot-testing. Suggestions are incorporated into the final questionnaire. Requests for translations originate from the module developers, physicians or pharmaceutical industry, and most translations are performed by professional translators. The translation procedure is managed and supervised by a Translation Coordinator within the EORTC QL Unit in Brussels. Results: To date, the EORTC QLQ-C30 has been translated and validated into more than 60 languages, with further translations in progress. Translations include all major Western, and many African and Asian languages. The following translation problems were encountered: lack of expressions for specific symptoms in various languages, the use of old-fashioned language, recent spelling reforms in several European countries and different priorities of social issues between Western and Eastern cultures. The EORTC measurement system is now registered for use in over 9000 clinical trials worldwide.
Conclusions: The EORTC provides strong infrastructure and quality control to produce robust translated questionnaires. Nevertheless, translation problems have been identified. The key to improvements may lie in the particular features and strengths of the group, consisting of researchers from 21 countries representing 25 languages and include the development of simple source versions, the use of advanced computerised tools, rigorous pilot-testing, certification procedures and insights from a unique cross-cultural database of nearly 40,000 questionnaire responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1810-1820
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Volume43
Issue number12
Early online date3 Aug 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

Keywords

  • quality of life
  • translation
  • cross-cultural adaptation
  • methodology
  • clinical trials
  • Taiwan Chinese version
  • health status questionnaires
  • item functioning analyses
  • validation
  • QLQ-C30
  • QLQ-H-AND-N35
  • QLQ-BR23
  • head

Cite this

Translation procedures for standardised quality of life questionnaires : The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) approach. / Koller, Michael; Aaronson, Neil K.; Blazeby, Jane M.; Bottomley, Andrew; Dewolf, Linda; Fayers, Peter; Johnson, Colin; Ramage, John; Scott, Neil William; West, Karen; EORTC Quality of Life Group.

In: European Journal of Cancer, Vol. 43, No. 12, 08.2007, p. 1810-1820.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Koller, M, Aaronson, NK, Blazeby, JM, Bottomley, A, Dewolf, L, Fayers, P, Johnson, C, Ramage, J, Scott, NW, West, K & EORTC Quality of Life Group 2007, 'Translation procedures for standardised quality of life questionnaires: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) approach', European Journal of Cancer, vol. 43, no. 12, pp. 1810-1820. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2007.05.029
Koller, Michael ; Aaronson, Neil K. ; Blazeby, Jane M. ; Bottomley, Andrew ; Dewolf, Linda ; Fayers, Peter ; Johnson, Colin ; Ramage, John ; Scott, Neil William ; West, Karen ; EORTC Quality of Life Group. / Translation procedures for standardised quality of life questionnaires : The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) approach. In: European Journal of Cancer. 2007 ; Vol. 43, No. 12. pp. 1810-1820.
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abstract = "Background: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life (EORTC QL) questionnaires are used in international trials and therefore standardised translation procedures are required. This report summarises the EORTC translation procedure, recent accomplishments and challenges. Methods: Translations follow a forward-backward procedure, independently carried out by two native-speakers of the target language. Discrepancies are arbitrated by a third consultant, and solutions are reached by consensus. Translated questionnaires undergo a pilot-testing. Suggestions are incorporated into the final questionnaire. Requests for translations originate from the module developers, physicians or pharmaceutical industry, and most translations are performed by professional translators. The translation procedure is managed and supervised by a Translation Coordinator within the EORTC QL Unit in Brussels. Results: To date, the EORTC QLQ-C30 has been translated and validated into more than 60 languages, with further translations in progress. Translations include all major Western, and many African and Asian languages. The following translation problems were encountered: lack of expressions for specific symptoms in various languages, the use of old-fashioned language, recent spelling reforms in several European countries and different priorities of social issues between Western and Eastern cultures. The EORTC measurement system is now registered for use in over 9000 clinical trials worldwide. Conclusions: The EORTC provides strong infrastructure and quality control to produce robust translated questionnaires. Nevertheless, translation problems have been identified. The key to improvements may lie in the particular features and strengths of the group, consisting of researchers from 21 countries representing 25 languages and include the development of simple source versions, the use of advanced computerised tools, rigorous pilot-testing, certification procedures and insights from a unique cross-cultural database of nearly 40,000 questionnaire responses.",
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AU - Bottomley, Andrew

AU - Dewolf, Linda

AU - Fayers, Peter

AU - Johnson, Colin

AU - Ramage, John

AU - Scott, Neil William

AU - West, Karen

AU - EORTC Quality of Life Group

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N2 - Background: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life (EORTC QL) questionnaires are used in international trials and therefore standardised translation procedures are required. This report summarises the EORTC translation procedure, recent accomplishments and challenges. Methods: Translations follow a forward-backward procedure, independently carried out by two native-speakers of the target language. Discrepancies are arbitrated by a third consultant, and solutions are reached by consensus. Translated questionnaires undergo a pilot-testing. Suggestions are incorporated into the final questionnaire. Requests for translations originate from the module developers, physicians or pharmaceutical industry, and most translations are performed by professional translators. The translation procedure is managed and supervised by a Translation Coordinator within the EORTC QL Unit in Brussels. Results: To date, the EORTC QLQ-C30 has been translated and validated into more than 60 languages, with further translations in progress. Translations include all major Western, and many African and Asian languages. The following translation problems were encountered: lack of expressions for specific symptoms in various languages, the use of old-fashioned language, recent spelling reforms in several European countries and different priorities of social issues between Western and Eastern cultures. The EORTC measurement system is now registered for use in over 9000 clinical trials worldwide. Conclusions: The EORTC provides strong infrastructure and quality control to produce robust translated questionnaires. Nevertheless, translation problems have been identified. The key to improvements may lie in the particular features and strengths of the group, consisting of researchers from 21 countries representing 25 languages and include the development of simple source versions, the use of advanced computerised tools, rigorous pilot-testing, certification procedures and insights from a unique cross-cultural database of nearly 40,000 questionnaire responses.

AB - Background: The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality of life (EORTC QL) questionnaires are used in international trials and therefore standardised translation procedures are required. This report summarises the EORTC translation procedure, recent accomplishments and challenges. Methods: Translations follow a forward-backward procedure, independently carried out by two native-speakers of the target language. Discrepancies are arbitrated by a third consultant, and solutions are reached by consensus. Translated questionnaires undergo a pilot-testing. Suggestions are incorporated into the final questionnaire. Requests for translations originate from the module developers, physicians or pharmaceutical industry, and most translations are performed by professional translators. The translation procedure is managed and supervised by a Translation Coordinator within the EORTC QL Unit in Brussels. Results: To date, the EORTC QLQ-C30 has been translated and validated into more than 60 languages, with further translations in progress. Translations include all major Western, and many African and Asian languages. The following translation problems were encountered: lack of expressions for specific symptoms in various languages, the use of old-fashioned language, recent spelling reforms in several European countries and different priorities of social issues between Western and Eastern cultures. The EORTC measurement system is now registered for use in over 9000 clinical trials worldwide. Conclusions: The EORTC provides strong infrastructure and quality control to produce robust translated questionnaires. Nevertheless, translation problems have been identified. The key to improvements may lie in the particular features and strengths of the group, consisting of researchers from 21 countries representing 25 languages and include the development of simple source versions, the use of advanced computerised tools, rigorous pilot-testing, certification procedures and insights from a unique cross-cultural database of nearly 40,000 questionnaire responses.

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KW - QLQ-H-AND-N35

KW - QLQ-BR23

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