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01-02-2013 | Review | Uitgave 1/2013

Quality of Life Research 1/2013

Health related quality of life measures in Arabic speaking populations: A systematic review on cross-cultural adaptation and measurement properties

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 1/2013
Fatima Al Sayah, Sana Ishaque, Darren Lau, Jeffrey A. Johnson



This systematic review was conducted to identify generic health related quality of life (HRQL) measures translated into Arabic, and evaluate their cross-cultural adaptation and measurement properties.


Six databases were searched, relevant journals were hand searched, and reference lists of included studies were reviewed. Previously established criteria were used to evaluate the cross-cultural adaptation of the identified instruments and their measurement properties.


Twenty studies that reported the Arabic translations and adaptations of HRQL measures and/or their measurement properties were included in this review. The identified instruments were SF-36, RAND-36, WHOQOL-Bref, COOP/WONCA charts, EQ-5D, and QLI. Cross-cultural adaptations of all measures were of moderate to good quality, and evaluation of measurement properties was limited due to insufficiency of evidence. Based on cross-cultural adaptation evaluation, each instrument is more applicable to the population for whom it was adapted, and to other Arabic populations of similar culture and language specific idioms.


This review facilitates the selection among existing Arabic versions of generic HRQL for use in particular Arabic countries. However, each of the translated versions requires further investigation of measurement properties before more concrete recommendations could be made.

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