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01-08-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 6/2007

Quality of Life Research 6/2007

‘Translation is not enough’: using the Global Person Generated Index (GPGI) to assess individual quality of life in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Ethiopia

Tijdschrift:
Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2007
Auteurs:
Laura Camfield, Danny Ruta

Abstract

Currently few subjective measures of Quality of Life (QoL) are available for use in developing countries, which limits their theoretical, methodological, and practical contribution (for example, exploring the relationship between economic development and QoL, and ensuring effective and equitable service provision). One reason for this is the difficulty of ensuring that translated measures preserve conceptual, item, semantic, operational, measurement; and functional equivalence (Herdman, M., Fox-Rushby, J., & Badia, X. (1998). Quality of Life Research, 7, 331), which is illustrated by an account of the translation, pre-piloting, and administration of a new individualised QoL measure, the Global Person Generated Index or ‘GPGI’. The GPGI is based on the widely used Patient Generated Index (Ruta, Camfield, & Martin, (2004) Quality of Life Research, 13, 1545.) and offers many of the advantages of the participatory approaches commonly used in developing countries, with added methodological rigour, and quantitative outcomes. It was successfully validated in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Ethiopia, using quantitative and qualitative methods—open-ended, semi-structured interviews (SSIs), conducted immediately post-administration. Both the measure and method of ‘qualitative validation’ described later in the paper offer an exciting alternative for future researchers and practitioners in this field. The quantitative results suggest the GPGI shows cultural sensitivity, and is able to capture both the areas that are important to respondents, and aspects of life one would expect to impact on QoL in developing countries. There were strong correlation between scores from the GPGI and SSIs for the area of health, and moderate correlations for ‘material wellbeing’ (MWB)(‘Material wellbeing’ refers to respondents’ perceptions of their achievement in the areas of farming, debt reduction, assets, crops, livestock, job, land, property, and agriculture) and children. Weak to moderate correlations were observed between the Satisfaction with Life Scale and the GPGI; however, the highest coefficient was between the GPGI and the most conceptually similar item. Statistically significant differences were seen in GPGI scores between rich and poor, urban and rural respondents, and different countries. Health and material wellbeing scores, derived from the SSIs, also showed a linear relationship with GPGI scores, with a suggestion of curvilinearity at the higher levels, as predicted by a general QoL causal model. In conclusion, the GPGI has great potential for use in this area, especially when supported by extensive interviewer training, and supplemented with a cognitive appraisal schedule.

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