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Cross-cultural validation of two scales to assess mental wellbeing in persons affected by leprosy in Province 1 and 7, Nepal


To assess mental wellbeing among persons affected by leprosy, this study aimed to validate the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9, depression tool) in Province 1 and 7, Nepal. Using purposive and convenience sampling, cross-cultural equivalences were assessed through semi-structured interviews with persons affected by leprosy (>18 years). Data were transcribed, translated, analysed and discussed with experts before revising the tools. Psychometric properties of the scales were assessed using an interviewer-administered questionnaire with cases affected by leprosy and controls not affected by leprosy (>18 years). Statistical analysis included internal consistency, construct validity, floor and ceiling effects, and interpretability. The qualitative study included 20 respondents of whom eleven were female. The statements in the original tools were rephrased to questions as participants had difficulties understanding the statements. Six additional changes were made to ensure items were understood well. The quantitative study included 90 cases (46% female) and 50 controls (54% female). The WEMWBS and PHQ-9 had adequate psychometric properties. Cronbach’s alphas were 0.85 and 0.76, respectively, indicating good internal consistency, 75% of hypotheses for construct validity were confirmed, no floor and ceiling effects were found, and data to help users interpret results are presented. Our study provides evidence that the adapted versions of the WEMWBS and PHQ-9 have good cultural validity to measure mental wellbeing and depression among persons affected by leprosy in Province 1 and 7, Nepal.

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Journal Article
Dijkstra JIR
van Elteren M
Banstola NL
Shakya L
Sigdel H
van Brakel WH
Mahato P