Rochester Healthy Community Partnership of Rochester, MN
Improving the health of underserved populations through proven methods and new ideas
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Lessons Learned: Cultural and linguistic enhancement of surveys through community-based participatory research

Backgrounds: Surveys are frequently implemented in community-based participatory research (CBPR), but adaptation and translation of surveys can be logistically and methodologically challenging when working with immigrant and refugee populations.

Objective: To describe a process of participatory survey adaptation and translation.

Methods: Within an established CBPR partnership, a survey about diabetes was adapted for health literacy and local relevance and then translated through a process of forward translation, group deliberation, and back translation.

Lessons Learned: The group deliberation process was the most time-intensive and important component of the process. The process enhanced community ownership of the larger project while maximizing local applicability of the product.

Conclusions: A participatory process of survey adaptation and translation resulted in significant revisions to approximate semantic, cultural, and conceptual equivalence with the original surveys. This approach is likely to enhance community acceptance of the survey instrument during the implementation phase.

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Nate Nordstrom