Original Research

A bridge between cultures: A report on the process of translating the EQ-5D instrument into Shona

J. Jelsma, V. Chivaura, W. De Weerdt, P. De Cock
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 56, No 4 | a526 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v56i4.526 | © 2018 J. Jelsma, V. Chivaura, W. De Weerdt, P. De Cock | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 September 2018 | Published: 30 November 2000

About the author(s)

J. Jelsma, Department of Rehabilitation, University of Zimbabwe and Faculteit Lichamelijke Opvoeding en Kinesitherapie, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
V. Chivaura, Department of English, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
W. De Weerdt, Faculteit Lichamelijke Opvoeding en Kinesitherapie, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
P. De Cock, Centrum voor Ontwikkelingsstoornissen, Faculteit Geneeskunde, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium

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Abstract

There is an increasing need in medical research for outcome measures that are both locally applicable and internationally recognised. The European Quality of Life 5-dimensions (EQ-5D) has been found to be a valid and reliable instrument for describing health related quality of life in Western societies. The paper describes the process of translating the EQ-5D into Shona, the language spoken by the majority of Zimbabweans. The EuroQoL group has developed a protocol for translation that was followed rigorously. Issues such as conceptualisation of health concepts cross-culturally, semantic equivalence (the transfer of meaning across languages) and specific idiomatic expressions are discussed. It is concluded that if the translation process is not adequately addressed, researchers may be guilty of simply imposing notions of health and quality of life across cultures. Consequently, the results will not provide meaningful insights into the cultures under study.


Keywords

Translation; Shona; quality of life; culture

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