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Insuring conceptual equivalence in multi-language questionnaires.

Flynn MA
Work, Stress, and Health 2013: Protecting and Promoting Total Worker Health(TM), The 10th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, May 16-19, 2013, Los Angeles, California. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2013 May; :1
The ever increasing numbers of Hispanic immigrant workers in the U.S. have correspondingly increased the demand for Spanish-language OSH materials. Typically, this need has been met by translating existing, English-language materials into Spanish rather than developing new materials specifically designed for Hispanic immigrant workers. However, critics suggest that such efforts frequently fall short of the mark because of poor translations and a failure to address the educational, cultural, legal and socio-economic realities that differentiate Hispanic immigrant workers from the American-born workers for whom the materials were originally developed. NIOSH has convened several stakeholder conferences that have addressed the training needs of Hispanic immigrant workers. These stakeholders have called for the development of materials specifically for Hispanic immigrant workers. This project followed Burnette's (2005) advice for development of Spanish-language survey instruments by consulting with language experts, content area experts and members of the target audience when developing data collection and training materials. This presentation discusses the creation of a culturally tailored survey for Hispanic immigrant workers. The creation of this survey was broken down into 3 phases: 1) consultation with community partners; 2) item generation via focus groups and individual interviews; and 3) cognitive testing of individual items on the survey. The first phase involved meetings with advocacy groups serving the Hispanic immigrant community. The project purpose, methods and aims were described to these stakeholder groups and feedback was solicited. Suggested changes were discussed and when consensus was reached, incorporated into the overall study protocol. In the second phase, a series of focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with immigrant and non-immigrant workers. The data was analyzed to identify and understand the differences (if any) in prior OSH training, risk perception, risk acceptance and adjustment strategies between recent (< 2 years in the U.S.) Hispanic immigrant workers (HIW), non-recent (= 5 years in the U.S.) Hispanic immigrant workers (NRHW), African-American Workers (AAW), and American born workers (ABW). The data was then used to guide the development of individual items of a questionnaire to assess differences in OSH training histories, risk perception, risk acceptance, and work adjustment strategies between HIW, NRHW, AAW, and ABW as part of a larger field study aimed at: 1) gaining a better understanding of the OSH knowledge, risk perception, risk acceptance, and preferred workplace coping strategies of Hispanic immigrant workers; 2) developing and evaluating culturally tailored OSH training modules for Hispanic immigrant workers. In the third phase, the materials were tested through cognitive interviews with members of the target audience. Cognitive interviewing (or cognitive testing) consists of a series of related methods intended to assess a number of processes including whether individuals: comprehend information; can retrieve relevant information from memory; are differentially motivated in processing information; and can easily match their internal generated response to a given question with the response categories given by a survey (Willis, 1999). The cognitive interviewing conducted by this study used both scripted and spontaneous probes. The results were reviewed by project staff and consultants for an acceptable level of comparability of responses. Items were then modified as needed and evaluated in additional rounds of cognitive testing until conceptual equivalence was reached between the English- and Spanish-language versions of the questionnaire.
Total-Worker-Health; Questionnaires; Racial-factors; Communication-systems; Sociological-factors
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Work, Stress, and Health 2013: Protecting and Promoting Total Worker Health(TM), The 10th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, May 16-19, 2013, Los Angeles, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division