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Translation of the WHO CIDI into Bahasa Melayu

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2015

Shazana Binte Mohamed Shahwan*
Research Division, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Mythily Subramaniam
Research Division, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Janhavi Vaingankar
Research Division, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Chong Siow Ann
Research Division, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
*Corresponding author Shazana Binte Mohamed Shahwan Buangkok Green Medical Park 10 Buangkok ViewSingapore539747 Email:


The Singapore Mental Health Survey was undertaken to establish the prevalence of mental disorders in Singapore. This necessitated translation of several modules of the WHO's Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) into Bahasa Melayu. The aim in translation was to achieve a conceptually equivalent version to the original instrument. The translation procedure was a four-step process: 1) forward translation, 2) expert panel review, 3) pre-test and cognitive interview and 4) development of the final version. The translation procedure was effective in identifying and resolving translation problems, and adapting the language of the instrument to suit the local Malay-speaking population. We recommend this four-step process for future studies to attain a fair representation of minority groups in nation-wide studies.

Copyright © The Author(s) 2015 

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