Linguistic Validation of the French Canadian Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire–General Health Version

  • Mary Gawlicki
  • Shawn McKown
  • Matthew Talbert
  • Barbara Brandt
  • Eric Bullington
Global Topics



The objective of this study was to evaluate the linguistic validity of the French Canadian Work Productivity and Activity Impairment–General Health questionnaire (WPAI-GH). When ill, employees may take a sick day (absenteeism) or work despite the illness and experience a loss of efficiency (presenteeism), which may then result in organizational productivity loss. The WPAI-GH, a leading measure of work productivity indicators, was not previously tested among French Canadians for clarity of translation and item comprehension. Before using a French translation of an available US-English questionnaire, the linguistic validity must be established to ensure its conceptual equivalence to the original as well as establishing cultural appropriateness.


A French Canadian translation of the US-English WPAI-GH was produced through a reiterative process in which harmonized forward and back translations were created by independent translators. French-speaking subjects residing in Canada self-administered the WPAI-GH and were subsequently debriefed by a bilingual (French-English) interviewer.


Thirty French Canadian subjects were interviewed, all of whom were employed at the time. The group was stratified by educational level, including an equal number of participants with and without a high school degree. Responses to hypothetical scenarios indicated that the French Canadian version adequately differentiates between sick time taken for health and non-health reasons as well as differentiations between absenteeism and presenteeism.


The linguistic validity of the French Canadian translation of the WPAI-GH was established among a diverse French Canadian population, including those with minimal education.


Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire–General Health Version (WPAI-GH) absenteeism presenteeism occupational health translation cognitive debriefing linguistic validation patient-reported outcomes 


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Copyright information

© Drug Information Association, Inc 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Gawlicki
    • 1
  • Shawn McKown
    • 1
  • Matthew Talbert
    • 1
  • Barbara Brandt
    • 1
  • Eric Bullington
    • 1
  1. 1.Corporate Translations IncChicagoUSA

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