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Res Nurs Health. 2010 Aug;33(4):369-79. doi: 10.1002/nur.20390.

Strengthening data quality in studies of migrants not fluent in host languages: a Canadian example with reproductive health questionnaires.

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School of Nursing, McGill University, 3506 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2A7, Canada.


The need to collect health data from refugees and asylum seekers often requires that questionnaires be translated. Verifying the clarity, meaning, and acceptability of translated questionnaires with monolingual persons, individuals from the target population who primarily speak and understand only the test language, is one important step in the translation process. Reproductive health questionnaires were tested with persons monolingual in Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Spanish, and French. Testing revealed problematic questions and how culture, education, and migration experience can affect perceptions of questions. Bilingual liaisons from the communities of interest facilitated recruitment of participants, but liaisons' vulnerable status and lack of familiarity with research posed challenges to the testing process. When conducting monolingual testing it is important to: carefully select liaisons (consider their gender, host-language fluency, knowledge of research processes, and comfort with the subject matter of the research); recruit monolingual persons with characteristics representative of the research population; ensure adequate researcher involvement in all aspects of the testing process to triangulate data collection from various sources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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