Open Access Open Badges Research article

Cross-cultural adaptation and patients' judgments of a Question Prompt List for Italian-speaking cancer patients

Caterina Caminiti1*, Francesca Diodati1, Silvia Filiberti2, Barbara Marcomini1, Maria Antonietta Annunziata3, Maria Ollari2 and Rodolfo Passalacqua2

Author Affiliations

1 Research & Innovation Unit, University Hospital of Parma, Italy

2 Division of Medical Oncology, Istituti Ospitalieri, Cremona, Italy

3 Unit of Oncological Psychology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Aviano, Italy

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BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:16  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-16

Published: 15 January 2010



Question Prompt Lists (QPLs) have proven very effective in encouraging cancer patients to ask questions, allowing them to take up a more active role during visits with the oncologist. As no such tool has yet been validated for Italian-speaking users, we carried out the cross-cultural adaptation and evaluation of an existing Australian Question Prompt List.


Cross-cultural adaptation was performed in accordance with the five steps described by Guillemin and Beaton. Forward and back translations of the original tool were carried out, and the products discussed by an Expert Committee who agreed on a prefinal version of the Italian QPL, which was submitted to 30 volunteer patients for evaluation. They rated each question's adequacy of content, clarity of wording, usefulness, and generated anxiety, on a 3-point Likert scale. Based on the analysis of patient ratings, the final version of the Italian QPL was produced.


Few discrepancies between the two back translations and the original version of the instrument were noted, indicating that the Italian translation (synthesis of the 2 forward translations) was substantially accurate. Most volunteer patients felt that the questionnaire was adequate, easy to understand and useful. Only a few minor criticisms were expressed. Certain questions on diagnosis and prognosis generated the highest level of anxiety. Patient comments and ratings on clarity highlighted the need to clarify common health care terms which are not widely used by the public (i.e. guideline, multidisciplinary team and clinical trial)


This cross-cultural adaptation has produced an Italian Question Prompt List that is now available for multi-center international studies and can be safely used with Italian-speaking cancer patients.