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FACIT Translation & Linguistic Validation Methodology

First published in 1996, the FACIT translation and linguistic validation methodology emphasizes a universal translation approach which includes multi-country review and the use of qualitative methods in testing, designed to establish equivalence of meaning and measurement between different language versions.

This is a more rigorous version of the double-back-translation method considered superior to single translation and translation by committee (Bonomi et al., 1996).

The process is summarized as follows: 

  • For each target language, the source is translated by two independent professional translators.

  • Next, a third independent translator reconciles the two forward translations by choosing the better of the two forward translations and resolving discrepancies between them.

  • This reconciled version is then back-translated blindly by a native English-speaking translator fluent in the target language.

  • The developer reviews the back-translation for discrepancies from the source version and to assess equivalence with the source.

  • Subsequently, an additional independent review/finalization is performed by a native speaking linguist and harmonization with other existing translations is conducted by the developer in conjunction with the linguist.

  • Finally, the target-language version is pretested with patients in the country in which the language is spoken. If any items are found to be problematic by patients, their feedback allows for modifications in the translations and for indications of changes that may later be made to the original source document, an example of the decentering process (Lent, Hahn, Eremenco, Webster, & Cella, 1999). 

  • The Universal Approach: For languages native to multiple countries, representatives from each country work together in conjunction with FACIT to develop one version of an item valid for use in every country a language is spoken, rather than country-specific versions.

All items in the FACIT Measurement System undergo this methodology and FACITtrans is the only vendor authorized to translate and linguistically validate FACIT items. Permission to translate any FACIT item or measure should be obtained prior to undertaking this methodology. Contact us for more details. If permission has not been obtained, the item or scale will not be recognized as part of the FACIT measurement system.

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