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



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.

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Correspondence to Mary Gawlicki MBA.

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Gawlicki, M., McKown, S., Talbert, M. et al. Linguistic Validation of the French Canadian Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire–General Health Version. Ther Innov Regul Sci 46, 600–606 (2012).

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