Questionnaire Design and Translation for Refugee Populations: Lessons Learned from REHEAL Study

Surveying the refugee population poses particular challenges: what measurement and culture effects need to be taken into account? Are some of the constructs related to refugees unique or can constructs used in other surveys be adapted? Due to considerable variation in educational background, in trauma history or in perception of ethnicity or gender roles in refugee populations, one needs to raise the question whether a one-size-fits-all approach is suitable when designing a questionnaire for refugee populations.

Drawing upon the experience of the REHEAL study conducted in 2016 during the early phase of refugees’ settlement in Greek refugee camps, the article addresses the particular challenges when designing and translating a questionnaire for multinational, multicultural and potentially traumatized refugee populations, residing in refugee accommodation settings.

A post hoc scrutiny of the Arabic and Farsi versions of the REHEAL questionnaire forms the basis of this article in order to empirically inform best practices in designing and translating questionnaires for special populations.

«