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Process of validating a questionnaire

Translation of a questionnaire is essential if an instrument is not available in a language understood by the target population.

The initial stage of translation is a source language questionnaire, from which translation in required language is done.

Translation back to the source language is done by another translator who is unaware of the source language version.

Validity: Validity is the degree to which an assessment measures what it is supposed to measure.

Unstructured format may be used at clinical setting however structured questionnaire is preferred for epidemiological studies as same data from all respondents need to be analyzed and measured.

It is essential to word the questions in a way that they can easily be understood by participant and should be according to their educational level and culture.

A valid questionnaires must have following characteristics (i) simplicity and viability (ii) reliability and precision in the words (iii) adequate for the problem intended to measure (iv) reflect underlying theory or concept to be measured and (v) capable of measuring change.

Type of Questions: A questionnaire is a written document to gather information irrespective of mode of administration.

Translation is not a mechanical work and should not be done on word to word bases across languages.

It is important to understand the local context, specific issues and cultural meanings which language carries.


  1. Unfortunately, questionnaire design has no theoretical base to guide the marketing researcher in developing a flawless questionnaire. All the researcher has to guide him/her is a lengthy list of do's and don'ts born out of the experience of other researchers past and present. Hence, questionnaire design is more of an art than a science.

  2. In other words reliability of a questionnaire refers to the quality of tool read questionnaire while validity refers to the process used to employ the tool in use, i.e. the process used to conduct the questionnaire. There are several dimensions to the process of employment of a questionnaire in use. Some of the important dimensions are.

  3. Validation process to undertake but it is the weakest form of validity. It evaluates the appearance of the questionnaire in It evaluates the appearance of the questionnaire in terms of feasibility, readability, consistency of style and formatting, and the clarity of the language used Haladyna 1999;

  4. Assessing psychometric properties of a questionnaire and assessing validity of a questionnaire are two different things used interchangeably by some researchers they often call it validation. First you have to make sure what you want to do.

  5. Making an individual question is a tedious task and validating this questionnaire is another challenge which at times is over looked. Consideration should be given accordingly on whether the questionnaire will measure quantitative or qualitative data, and what would be its mode of administration.

  6. Questionnaire Validation in a Nutshell Generally speaking the first step in validating a survey is to establish face validity. There are two important steps in this process. First is to have experts or people who understand your topic read through your questionnaire. They should evaluate whether the questions effectively capture the topic under.

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