“Can I modify a questionnaire to adapt it to my needs?”

Mapi Research Trust views:
For consistency and interpretation of results, you should not modify a questionnaire by deleting or adding an item, modifying the response choice, the ordering of items, the recall period, or any other modifications which have to do with the content and substance of the questionnaire unless you have received written authorization from the original developer.

“Has the translation been validated?”

Response from Mapi:
The translation of a questionnaire is considered fully validated after a proper linguistic validation and when its psychometric properties have been studied.

Some questionnaires may have been validated in English and in some other languages. However, it is possible that not all of the languages requested will have been PSYCHOMETRICALLY validated, though they have been LINGUISTICALLY validated.

The linguistic validation process is thought to ensure that the language version will be psychometrically equivalent to the original version, because the concepts are equivalent across languages. However, it is only through actual psychometric testing that you can know for certain if the language version is indeed reliable and valid.

“Is this questionnaire reliable and valid?”

Response from Mapi Research Trust:
This question is actually incomplete. The right question should be “has the questionnaire been validated for the population and in the disease area of my study”.

A generic questionnaire may have been validated in a men healthy population whereas you wish to use it on a women depressive population. Equally, a gastroenterology-generic instrument may have been validated for use in GERD but not in gastroparesis.

Only a literature review and questionnaire analysis may help identifying the best instrument for use in YOUR study.

“I would like to use a questionnaire in an international study, what should I do?”

Mapi Research Trust views:
You should:

  • look for the conditions for using and translating the questionnaire
  • obtain the authorization to use and translate the questionnaire from the author / copyright holder
  • search for available translations and check their quality.

Only after these three steps are checked, you may wish to perform new translations.

“What is the cost for using a questionnaire in my study?”

Response from Mapi Research Trust:
There is no standard cost to access a questionnaire: the Author of the questionnaire decides of the conditions of use and access to his/her questionnaire. It may be free of charge or subject to a license fee.

If fees are required, it generally consists of Author’s royalty fee requested in the interest of furthering the usefulness, development and validation of the questionnaire.

It may also consist of a distribution fee (processing fee) in case the Author has confided the distribution of his/her questionnaire to a third party such as a Distribution Centre.

The amount of fees requested may be fixed or may depend on various parameters such as, the USER profile, context of use (international – number of language-versions needed / national), number of patients, number of administration of the questionnaire.

See also Distribution of Questionnaires by Mapi Research Trust.