Translation and cultural adaptation of evidence-informed leaflets on the work-health interface: a pragmatic approach to cultural adaptation

Pol Andre Amundsen, M Engedahl, Kim Burton, I Malberg-Heimonen, Margareth Grotle, Rob Froud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Our aim was to translate and culturally adapt three evidence-informed leaflets on the work-health interface from English into Norwegian. Integral to this aim was the exploration of the quality and acceptability of each of the adapted leaflets to Norwegian speaking stakeholders; general practitioners, people who deal with health issues in the workplace, and the general population.

Background: Common health problems, such as musculoskeletal pain, account for most workdays lost and disability benefits in Norway. To facilitate return to work, it may be important to have access to evidence-informed information on the work-health interface for stakeholders involved in sickness absence processes. However, there is limited information material available in Norwegian that is tailored for the different stakeholders. Cultural adaptation is an emerging strategy for implementing health information across different populations and regions. Guidelines on cultural adaptation are not well-suited for translating and adapting evidence-informed health information material.

Methods: We conducted a pragmatic cultural adaptation process informed by existing guidelines. Our conceptual framework for adaptation is situated between adaptation and translation and comprises appraisal, forward and back-translation, review in multiple steps, sense checking and re-designing using a transcreation approach. Using an online survey, we aimed to evaluate the overall quality, value, acceptability, and clarity of each of the adapted leaflets to a total of 30 end-users.

Findings: We translated and culturally adapted three leaflets from English to Norwegian. Adapted leaflets were found to be clearly presented, acceptable and valued by 45 Norwegian end-users. No differences in key concepts between original and back-translated leaflets emerged through the review process by original author and forward translators. We used a pragmatic approach in this study that might be useful to others culturally adapting evidence-informed health information material.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPrimary health care research & development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Jun 2024

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