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Spanish Linguistic Validation of the Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Effects on Life Outcomes



Quality of life (QOL) assessments are useful tools that measure a patient's health status and monitor patient-reported outcome measures. This study highlights the process of linguistic validation of a QOL assessment to serve Spanish-speaking families and ultimately help decrease language barriers in the treatment of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI).


The standardized linguistic validation process included forward and backward translation, reconciliation, and cognitive interviews with patients and families. Preliminary instrument test-retest measurement was assessed. Eligibility for cognitive interviews included families with familiarity of velopharyngeal insufficiency. Exclusion criteria included illiteracy and parent and child respondents who do not speak Spanish. Reliability was tested by intraclass correlation (ICC) on VPI Effects on Life Outcomes (VELO)-Spanish instruments completion on 2 measurements from the medical record.


The instrument was optimized through a standardized forward and backward translation process. Further problematic language was identified during cognitive interviews with families and their children. In the second interview, only minimal changes were needed. Twenty-one patients (8 males and 13 females) were included. Mean (SD) age was 8.0 (5.3) years (range, 3-21 years). The mean (SD) Velo-Spanish score was 65 (22.1); range 32.7-100. The VELO-Spanish instrument demonstrated excellent test-retest reliability [ICC = 0.91; n = 21 and internal consistency (α = 0.96)].


The Spanish VELO has been developed and refined for use in Spanish-speaking populations as a VPI-specific QOL instrument. The linguistic validation process including cognitive interviews and initial reliability testing. The instrument may improve the understanding of patient-reported outcomes and potential disparities from linguistic and cultural barriers in VPI treatment.

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