Culturally congruent and linguistically correct translations of PROMs as a basis for communication in healthcare

Lise-Merete ALPERS, Ingrid HANSSEN

Abstract

Background: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are questionnaires used in clinical settings to provide information on patients’ health status. In encounters with ethnic minority patients, translations of these are needed. However, it is complicated to produce linguistically correct and culturally congruent translations of PROMs. Aim: To investigate the challenges of translating PROMs according to standard translatory rules. Methods: Literature research, forward-and-back translations, discussions with those doing the translations, and in-depth interviews with other translators. Thematic analysis. Findings: Forward-and-back translation was not found to result in meaningful translations for patients. One key issue was poor/incorrect translations; this often occurred due to translators being unfamiliar with biomedical terminology, the exact concepts do not exist as such in the target language, the professional terms are not used in every day/oral language, and/or the patient's level of education made understanding the PROMs difficult. Conclusion: Successful medical treatment depends on PROMs being understood and correctly filled in. Poor/incorrect translations may cause important background information being missed, which can potentially result in insufficient treatment or even misdiagnosis.

Keywords:
    Intercultural communication, immigrants, PROMs, translation, healthcare, culturally congruent translations

Full text article

Generated from XML file

Authors

Lise-Merete ALPERS
lise-merete.alpers@vid.no (Primary Contact)
Ingrid HANSSEN
ALPERS, L.-M., & HANSSEN, I. Culturally congruent and linguistically correct translations of PROMs as a basis for communication in healthcare. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 22(4). https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v22i3.83

Article Details