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Open Access Research article

Cross-cultural adaptation and psychometric properties of the Brazilian-Portuguese version of the VSP-A (Vécu et Santé Perçue de l'Adolescent), a health-related quality of life (HRQoL) instrument for adolescents, in a healthy Brazilian population

Mariana T Aires3, Pascal Auquier1, Stephane Robitail1, Guilherme L Werneck2 and Marie-Claude Simeoni1*

Author Affiliations

1 Service de Santé Publique - EA3279, Faculté de Médecine, Université de La Méditerranée, Marseille, France

2 Instituto de Medicina Social, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

3 Instituto de Puericultura e Pediatria Martagão Gesteira, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

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BMC Pediatrics 2011, 11:8  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-8

Published: 27 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) assessment, encompassing the adolescents' perceptions of their mental, physical, and social health and well-being is increasingly considered an important outcome to be used to identify population health needs and to provide targeted medical care. Although validated instruments are essential for accurately assessing HRQoL outcomes, there are few cross-culturally adapted tools for use in Brazil, and none designed exclusively for use among adolescents. The Vécu et Santé Perçue de l'Adolescent (VSP-A) is a generic, multidimensional self-reported instrument originally developed and validated in France that evaluates HRQoL of ill and healthy adolescents.

Purpose

To cross-culturally adapt and validate the Brazilian-Portuguese version of the VSP-A, a generic HRQoL measure for adolescents originally developed in France.

Methods

The VSP-A was translated following a well-validated forward-backward process leading to the Brazilian version. The psychometric evaluation was conducted in a sample of 446 adolescents (14-18 years) attending 2 public high schools of São Gonçalo City. The adolescents self-reported the Brazilian VSP-A, the validated Psychosomatic Symptom Checklist and socio-demographic information. A retest evaluation was carried out on a sub-sample (n = 195) at a two-week interval.

The internal construct validity was assessed through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), multi-trait scaling analyses, Rasch analysis evaluating unidimensionality of each scale and Cronbach's alpha coefficients. The reproducibility was evaluated by intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). Zumbo's ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to detect differential item functioning (DIF) between the Brazilian and the French items. External construct validity was investigated testing expected differences between groups using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Mann-Whitney tests and the univariate general regression linear model.

Results

CFA showed an acceptable fit (RMSEA=0.05; CFI=0.93); 94% of scaling success was found for item-internal consistency and 98% for item discriminant validity. The items showed good fit to the Rasch model except 3 items with an INFIT at the upper threshold. Cronbach's Alpha ranged from 0.60 to 0.85. Test-retest reliability was moderate to good (ICC=0.55-0.82). DIF was evidenced in 4 out of 36 items. Expected patterns of differences were confirmed with significantly lower physical, psychological well being and vitality reported by symptomatic adolescents.

Conclusions

Although DIF in few items and responsiveness must be further explored, the Brazilian version of VSP-A demonstrated an acceptable validity and reliability in adolescents attending school and might serve as a starting point for more specific clinical investigations.