Measuring perceived social support in stroke survivors: Linguistic validation of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) in Hausa (Nigerial) Language

Ashiru Mohammad Hamza, Binti Abdul Mohsein Al-Sadat Nabilla, Yim Siew Low


Background and Aims: In stroke survivors, social support is believed to affect the quality of patient care and the disease outcome, as well as patients’ physical and psychosocial well-being. Assessment is therefore essential for the development and evaluation of interventions designed to improve social support for those deprived of this resource. The aim of the linguistic validation of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) was to produce a translated version in Hausa language with “conceptual, semantic and operational equivalence” to the original U.S. English version for use in clinical practice and research in Nigeria.

Methods:  A multiprofessional committee that consisted of five experts carried out the translation process in accordance with the Mapi Research Institute format and guidelines for cultural adaptation of questionnaires. This included the steps of forward translations, synthesis, back translation, expert committee review, pre-testing (with 10 hemiplegic subjects) and finalisation. 

Results: During the translation processes of the MSPSS into Hausa, concerns were raised pertaining to some linguistic and semantic issues including the appropriateness of certain terms used. The literal translation of some of the items and expressions used was not viable in Hausa language; hence, researchers had to find culturally agreeable linguistic equivalents. Pilot testing revealed the MSPSS to be easily understandable, simple, clear and appropriate for the evaluation of social support among these stroke survivors. 

Conclusion and Recommendation: The processes involved in the translation served to ensure that the Hausa-MSPSS was measuring the same circumstances as the original scale, thereby enabling comparisons between different cultures. Nevertheless, further in-depth psychometric testing on a larger sample is proposed to be carried out among Hausa speakers.

Key Words: Stroke, assessment, social support, linguistic validation.



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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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