DOI: 10.25259/ijpc_96_2023 ISSN:

Cultural Adaptation of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Hindi for Use with Patients with Cancer in Community Palliative Care Settings

Tushti Bhardwaj, Neha Arora, Anu Paul, Pallika Chowdhary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) in Indian settings is yet not very often used in palliative care with the Hindi-speaking population. The Hindi version of PHQ-9 is available but its cultural adaptation to the Hindi-speaking population in North India receiving palliative care services is required to be tested. PHQ-9 as a depression screening questionnaire may help to identify depression symptoms among patients with cancer. This study aimed to examine the cultural equivalence of PHQ-9 Hindi for use with patients with cancer receiving palliative care services in North India.

Material and Methods:

Based on the standard methodology of translation and adaptation of the scale, the following process was used: (i) Two focused group discussions with 17 experts working in a cancer palliative care setting, (ii) qualitative interviewing with 11 patients, and (iii) research team review. All interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and item-wise content analysis was conducted.


A few difficult phrases in the original PHQ-9 were ‘dilchaspi’, ‘avasadgrast’, ‘kam urja’, ‘nakaam’, parivar ko neecha dhikhana and ‘ashthir’ which were changed to Kam Mann Lagna, Mann Dukhi hona, kamjori, saksham nahi hain’ ‘asafal’, Parivar ko nirash karna’ and ‘bechain,’ respectively. Two items, namely no. 6 and 8 were changed to shorten the length for appropriately conveying the meaning.


Hindi language involves various dialects which change from region to region bringing variations in understanding the meaning of the words. It is recommended that culturally equivalent scales are used in practice and research. PHQ-9 is now culturally adapted for the Hindi-speaking population in North India. PHQ-9 will help identidy depressive symptoms at an early stage. Psychometric testing of PHQ-9 is underway.

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