Reliability of an Arabic Version of the RAND-36 Health Survey and its Equivalence to the US-English Version

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Abstract

Objectives.

The objectives of this research were to: (1) evaluate the reliability and equivalence of the Arabic and English versions of the RAND-36 Health Survey (RAND-36) in a sample of Saudi Arabian citizens; and (2) assess the health status of a sample of Saudi Arabian citizens using both the Arabic and English versions.

Methods.

Both the Arabic and English versions of the survey were administered to a convenience sample of bilingual (English and Arabic) Saudi citizens (n=415) at Saudi ARAMCO Company, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Internal consistency, equivalent-forms, and test-retest reliability were estimated for the eight multi-item scales in the Arabic and English versions. Mean scale scores were calculated for each version and compared with the general US population.

Results.

The median Cronbach's alphas for the Arabic RAND-36 in multiple subgroups exceeded 0.70 for every scale except one. Two of the English RAND-36 scales had median Cronbach's alphas that exceeded 0.70; the remainder exceeded 0.50. Two-week test-retest correlations were all statistically significant for both versions. Product-moment correlations to test the equivalence of the corresponding Arabic and English versions of the RAND-36 ranged from 0.73 to 0.92. Saudi citizens reported significantly higher vitality scores, but significantly lower physical functioning, social functioning, and general health perception scores than the general US population.

Conclusions.

The results provide support for the reliability and equivalence of the Arabic and English versions of the RAND-36. Additional studies need to be conducted in a representative sample of the general Saudi population to further assess the psychometric properties of the Arabic version.

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