Obesity: translation and testing of a survey instrument for use in Taiwan

Pei-Lin Hsieh, Krystyna Cholowski, Mary Fitzgerald
Journal of Clinical Nursing 2005, 14 (7): 830-44

AIM AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this paper is to describe a cross-cultural translation and validation methodology recommended by Vallerand. The translation technique has seven steps and ensures the instrument provides data that are valid and reliable.

BACKGROUND: Translation of data collection instruments is a challenge increasingly being faced by overseas students studying in the West as they choose to research contextual issues of relevance to their home culture.

METHODS: Six of Vallerand's seven steps are used and modified as the methodical translation of a survey from English to Mandarin.

RESULTS: The results revealed there was no significant difference between the original English questionnaire and Mandarin questionnaire. The validation study indicated good internal consistency. The construct validity of the Mandarin version was determined except one item which failed the test. The validation demonstrates only minor effects of language translation.

CONCLUSION: The Mandarin version thus is a valid tool for investigating from the perspective of school nurses, their role and potential contribution to health promotion in relation to the prevention of obesity among school children in Taiwan.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The results of the study will enable school nurses and their managers to reflect critically on their contribution to the prevention of obesity among Taiwanese school children. The translation technique has enabled the researcher to minimize errors that may have occurred in translation. It adds to the quality of the instrument and offers opportunities in the future to undertake cross-cultural comparison in an issue of great concern globally.

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