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Researchers identify need for better translated tools for CALD community

New research has found the need for accurately translated assessment tools for CALD communities is crucial for effective evaluation of social engagement and quality of life in older people.

Researchers from Western Sydney University (WSU) revealed that cultural appropriateness significantly impacted the delivery of questions within the assessment tools, which included the Australian Community Participation Questionnaire and ICEpop CAPability measure for Older people tools.

This included difficulties such as the lack of terms for unique places of worship, outdated language such as references to reading newspapers, and differing priorities in social and well-being matters between Western and Eastern cultures.

Lead researcher Dr Joyce Siette said adequate translation was essential in facilitating practical assessment in aged care services.

"When we looked at the quality-of-life tool, there was a question concerning ‘love and pleasure’ that, in the initial translation to Chinese, was associated with sexual experiences and values; however, this should instead reflect enjoyment and happiness," Dr Siette said.

"Similarly, in the social participation tool, the terms ‘immediate household’ and ‘extended family’ showed variations across cultural contexts, particularly in cases where multi-generational families challenged the traditional definition of a household.

"Given the diverse ethnic backgrounds of aged care clients, we formally translated versions of the assessment tools in Korean, Turkish and Mandarin, the primary languages spoken by clients of an Australian community aged care provider."

Many CALD Australians face barriers in accessing and engaging with services that support their well-being, usually stemming from language.

Around 37 per cent of Australians aged 65 and over were born overseas.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 33 per cent of Australians accessing aged care services were born overseas.

Home care also had the largest proportion of people with a preferred language other than English at 18 per cent.

Research feedback from aged care staff found that the formally translated tool versions eased administration for CALD clients, enabling them to interpret questions, resulting in improved questionnaire completion rates independently.

Aged care service providers are urged to prioritise the translation and cultural adaptation of psychosocial assessment tools into languages spoken by their diverse client base to assist with accurate and meaningful data collection.

Translated versions of the psychosocial aged care assessment tools are now ready for implementation with researchers urging providers to use them.

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