Review of prevalence data in, and evaluation of methods for cross cultural adaptation of, UK surveys on tobacco and alcohol in ethnic minority groups

Raj Bhopal, Amanda Vettini, Sonja Hunt, Sushmita Wiebe, Lisa Hanna, Amanda Amos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the adequacy of cross cultural adaptations of survey questions on self reported tobacco and alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom.

DESIGN: Assessment of consistency of data between studies identified through literature review. Studies evaluated with 12 guidelines developed from the research literature on achieving cross cultural comparability.

RESULTS: The literature review identified 18 key studies, five of them on national samples. Survey instruments were obtained for 15 of these. The comparison of prevalence data in national surveys showed some important discrepancies, greater for tobacco than for alcohol. For example, prevalence of cigarette smoking in Bangladeshi women was 6% in a national survey in 1994 and 1% in a national survey in 1999; in Chinese men it was 31% in a survey in 1993-4 and 17% in one in 1999; in African-Caribbean men it was 29% in a 1992 survey and 42% in one in 1993-4. The most guidelines met by any study was three, although one study partly met a fourth. Two studies met no guidelines. Only four studies consulted with ethnic minority communities in developing the questionnaire, none checked each language version with all others, and two stated the questionnaire had not been validated.

CONCLUSIONS: Surveys have not followed best practice in relation to measurement of risk factors in cross cultural settings. There is inconsistency in the prevalence data on smoking provided by different major national UK studies. Users of such data should be aware of their limitations. Research is needed to help achieve linguistic equivalence of survey questions in cross cultural research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76
JournalBritish Medical Journal (BMJ)
Volume328
Issue number7431
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2004

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Asia
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Data Collection
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking

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