Background: Cognitive tests currently used in healthcare and research settings do not account for bias in performance that arises due to cultural context. At present there are no universally accepted steps or minimum criteria for culturally adapting cognitive tests. We propose a methodology for developing specific guidelines to culturally adapt a specific cognitive test and used this to develop guidelines for the ACE-III. We then demonstrated their implementation by using them to produce an ACE-III Urdu for a British South Asian population.
Methods: This was a several stage qualitative study. We combined information from our systematic review on the translation and cultural adaptation of the ACE-III with feedback from previous ACE-III adaptors. This identified steps for cultural adaptation. We formatted these into question-by-question guidelines. These guidelines, along with feedback from focus groups with potential users were used to develop ACE-III Urdu questions. Clinical experts reviewed these questions to finalise an ACE-III Urdu.
Results: Our systematic review found 32 adaptations and we received feedback from seven adaptors to develop the guidelines. With these guidelines and two focus groups with 12 participants a sample ACE-III Urdu was developed. A consensus meeting of two psychiatrists with a South Asian background and familiarity with cognitive tests and cultural adaptation finalised the ACE-III Urdu.
Conclusions: We developed a set of guidelines for culturally adapting the ACE-III that can be used by future adaptors for their own language or cultural context. We demonstrated how guidelines on cultural adaptation can be developed for any cognitive test and how they can be used to adapt it.