Ensuring integrity and validation of translations

As COAs are scientific material undergoing rigorous validation of their measurement properties, their translations must follow an equally rigorous process to ensure they are understood the same way no matter the language used. Very often, items used in these scales are also sensitive to local cultures. It is therefore critical to minimize the impact of cross-cultural differences in COA translations.

Linguistic validation ensures that equivalence is addressed during the development of translations, meaning that the integrity of the original COA’s psychometric measurement properties are maintained. This will allow data to be safely compared across countries and languages.


How is linguistic validation carried out?

Linguistic validation is a reiterative process with multiple reviews. It involves three translators, a project manager, a survey research analyst and an in-country reviewer who must all agree on the wording of the translation.

The key steps of linguistic validation are:

  • Forward translation
  • Back-translation
  • Reconciliation
  • Cognitive interviewing

Cognitive interviewing involves pilot testing the translated COA in a population of 5 - 10 patients with the disease. All languages must be tested in each country where they will be used.


Mapi Research Trust partners with ICON Language Services as its preferred vendor for linguistic validation.