ONE OF OUR MISSIONS
PSYCHIATRY AND CLINICAL Neurosciences (PCN) has many missions. Here, I would like to emphasize the importance of one of them; that is to publish studies on the psychometric properties of non-English versions of instruments for measuring psychiatric/psychological symptoms and diagnosing mental disorders that were originally developed in English speaking countries, where the vast majority of such instruments have been developed.
Such non-English versions of original English instruments are indispensable for gathering internationally comparable data for research and clinical activities in non-English speaking countries. However, to create a non-English version of an English instrument is not so easy a task for professionals in non-English speaking countries. First, they must get the permission of developers and copyright holders of the original English instrument to create its non-English version. Second, they need to translate the original English version into their own language and then back-translate their own language translation into English to verify how well the translation reflects the original English version. Discrepancies between the original English version and non-English translation are resolved by repeated modifications of the translation until a satisfactory non-English translation emerges. Third, the finalized non-English translation of the instrument must undergo studies of its psychometric properties as a new instrument, since the psychometric properties confirmed in an original English instrument do not apply to its non-English translation.
Of the many psychometric properties of an instrument, reliability and validity are the most important ones. Data produced by a reliable and valid non-English version are considered as reliable and valid as data obtained by the original English instrument in the scientific community. Hence, it is important for a non-English version of an original English instrument to have its reliability and validity published in an international journal. To publish these studies is an important mission of PCN.
For the last two years, PCN has published a total of 182 original articles (150 Regular Articles and 32 Short Communications). Of the 182 articles, eight articles (seven Regular Articles and one Short Communication) dealt with the psychometric properties of non-English versions of instruments originally developed in English-speaking countries, as summarized below.
Of the eight articles, four were from Japan. Uchida et al. showed that the Japanese version of the Beck Cognitive Insight Scale (BCIS-J) is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring cognitive aspects of insight in patients with schizophrenia and appears to complement clinical insight scales based on 183 university students and 30 patients with schizophrenia.1 Sugiura et al. showed the reliability and validity of the Japanese version of the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale (J-CDS) and set its best cut-off at 60, based on 59 participants (12 patients with depersonalization disorder, 11 individuals having recovered from depersonalization and 36 healthy controls).2 Nishi et al. reported that the score on the Japanese version of the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory (PDI) predicted subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder in survivors of severe motor vehicle accidents with sensitivity (77%) and specificity (82%) at a cut-off of 23.3 Koyama et al. reported the utility of the Japanese version of the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT-J) for predicting pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) based on 52 two-year-old children with PDD and 48 two-year-old children without PDD.4
The remaining four of the eight articles were contributed from other Asian countries. Saipanish et al. showed that the Thai version of the World Health Organization Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5-T) was a reliable and valid self-assessment scale for screening depression in a primary care setting at a cut-off of <12 based on 274 middle-aged respondents.5 Lu et al. developed the Chinese version of the Zarit Caregiver Burden Interview and demonstrated its reliability and validity based on 523 caregivers.6 Yang et al. demonstrated reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale (PDSS) and its utility as a screening tool for pathological daytime sleepiness in teenagers with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and narcolepsy with a cut-off of 16/17.7 Wang et al. developed the Chinese version of the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and demonstrated its reliability and validity based on 341 earthquake victims aged 20–63 years.8
Although the number of articles such as those described above is still small in PCN, we welcome such articles from all over the world, as we believe that to publish them is an important mission of PCN.