Using the Rose Angina Questionnaire cross-culturally: the importance of consulting lay people when translating epidemiological questionnaires

Raj Bhopal, Lisa C. Hanna, Sonja M. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives. The Rose Angina Questionnaire (RAQ) is an important measure of coronary heart disease prevalence. It has been shown to perform inconsistently across some ethnic groups in Britain. This study investigates whether the best available versions of the RAQ in Punjabi and Cantonese were linguistically equivalent to the English version.

Design. Interviews were carried out with lay people from the Pakistani, Chinese and European-origin communities in Scotland to assess the versions of the RAQ used in the Newcastle Heart Project (the best available versions). For each questionnaire item, participants were asked to elaborate on their understanding of the question and the meaning of keywords or phrases.

Results. Problems were discovered with the Punjabi and Cantonese translations of the RAQ. For example, the translation for ‘chest’ was interpreted by some Pakistani and Chinese women to mean ‘breasts’. ‘Walking uphill’ was translated in Chinese as ‘walking the hill’, without stipulation of the direction, so that some Cantonese speakers interpreted the question as pertaining to walking downhill. Many Chinese interpreted RAQ items to be referring to breathlessness rather than chest pain due to ambiguous wording.

Conclusion. Existing versions of the RAQ are unlikely to be yielding data that are cross-culturally valid or comparable. For robust health survey research in languages other than that in which the questionnaire was developed, lay assessment of questionnaires prior to and after translation is a necessity rather than a luxury.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnicity and Health
Early online date1 Sep 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • angina pectoris
  • questionnaires
  • cross-cultural comparison
  • Punjabi
  • Cantonese

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