Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 300--305

The process of translation and linguistic validation of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain quality of life instrument from English to Malayalam: The challenges faced

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of Psycho Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Chitra Venkateswaran
Department of Psycho-Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi - 682 041, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_36_17

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Aim: Both brain tumors and their treatments have a major negative impact on the quality of life (QoL). EORTC BN20 and Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain (FACT-BR) are the most commonly used tools to assess QoL. The FACT-BR is a 23-item questionnaire, especially about the psychosocial aspects of QoL. This paper describes the challenges we faced during the process of translation and validation of the FACT-BR into Malayalam. Methods: We first screened the patients to ensure their mental status was satisfactory and that they could communicate well in both languages. According to the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy methodology, there were two forward translations from English to Malayalam by two independent translators, a reconciliation of the two forward translations, a back-translation into English, a review/finalization by a fifth translator, proofreading, and then testing on a small cohort of patients. Results: The whole process of translation was fraught with small and large hurdles – from small technical issues to the gaps in sociocultural norms. The sub item BR 7, due to the lack of an exact equivalent word, had issues that persisted up to the validation phase. The postquestionnaire debriefing interviews confirmed that the translations were well understood and conceptually equivalent to the original English one. Conclusions: Translation of the FACT-BR into Malayalam nearly completely reproduced the concepts of the original English questionnaire, as proved in the subsequent validation process.


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