Anyone with linguistic validation experience... how do you recruit your subjects?
Thread poster: Lau Wei Tsinn

Lau Wei Tsinn  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:49
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Aug 3, 2012

Hi there,

I have been working with a couple of companies on linguistic validation projects, which require recruitment of patients with specific medical conditions in order to survey them on the linguistic aspects of the translated questionnaires.

I face a lot of problems with recruitment as the medical institutions in my country are very strict on the regulations pertaining to patient surveys as they tread on ethical grounds. For the current project that I am working on, my client was originally going to provide me with the patients and all I needed to go was interview them. However, they have hit a wall due to the regulations that I talked about earlier and have asked me if I could do it for them.

I am a translator and recruitment is something quite foreign to me. This only one part of the whole translation and linguistic validation procedure but it's taking up my energy as I keep worrying about how best to do it. I know that the environment is very different in each country but I would love to know more about how the rest of you have done your recruitment so that I will have a better idea how to proceed with the current project I am working on. What are the problems you faced? Is there a pain-free way of handling this?

Many thanks!


Egils Turks (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:49
English to Latvian
+ ...
Friends, local social networks, associations of patients Aug 3, 2012

Hi Wei,icon_smile.gif

I am in the same boat. I am working with such (cognitive debriefing of medical questionnaires) projects 3 years.

We, here in Latvia, have a very popular social network which is similar to Facebook but have even more local followers. I have about 200 friends on it, and I use to send them mass messages asking for help. Some of my followers/friends are related to medical profession, so I get from them some leads. Some have relatives with a specific health condition. That's the way I have found many patients.

Also, nowadays people with specific disease join together in associations to help each other, to deal with state institutions, etc. Many of them have website on Internet with telephone numbers and other contact information. That's also the way to go.


Oana Giumanca  Identity Verified
English to Romanian
Family doctor, social networks, patient associations Aug 3, 2012

Hello Wei,

I can understand your frustration. I have faced the same situation, but not because of firm ethical rules, but mostly because Romanian patients are not very well represented by associations. So, as an in-country investigator, I have no visibility on where to find them.

I am mostly relying on my family doctor to refer patients to me. Also, I am approaching hospitals - I first talk with the head of the department, then with the psychologist who, usually, introduces me to the patients.

Social networks are also useful, but not as much as the family doctor.

And patients associations proved to be handy when it came to certain medical conditions, but I received late replies which made me ask the PM to extend the deadline.

I hope this helpedicon_smile.gif

Good luck,


Lau Wei Tsinn  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:49
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Thanks for sharing! Aug 6, 2012

Hi Egils and Oana,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. My client has cancelled the interview part of the current project due to the complications in recruiting. To be honest, I am rather relieved... haha... recruitment is definitely not my forte. I think it requires quite a bit of networking, which does not come naturally to me =).

It would've been much easier if the recruitment criteria is not so narrow as some of these medical conditions are not exactly common. In order to recruit from hospitals, we will have to submit an application for review, with a fee of S$1000+ included. That's around US$1200. And that's only the review fee. I don't even know what other costs are involved. All investigators are required to be CITI certified in order to have any contact with patients.

Anyway, thanks again for your help.



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