About Arabic Health Measures

Goals of the Arabic Health Measures program (AHM)

Health surveys are an important research tool and may collect data on a variety of constructs ranging from physical functioning to psychosocial wellbeing. They may be used for screening, diagnosis, measuring outcomes and other functions. The use of health surveys is rapidly extending from the realm of research to the clinical, academic and commercial settings. While comparability of health survey data across varying populations is vital, this has been challenging in part due to variation in survey methodology and the lack of standardization of health instruments. As language can greatly affect the psychometric properties of an instrument, validated versions of such instruments in the native language of the user is key to promoting their use and ensuring valid outcomes.

While Arabic is the fifth most common language in the world, the number of validated Arabic health measures appears to be scarce. In addition, access to available measures also poses an additional obstacle. This program aims to develop the first comprehensive Arabic Health Measures database (AHM) which can assist users in their selection, access and appraisal of instruments. It also aims to increase the number of valid Arabic health measures by providing guidelines for translation and validation of instruments and opportunities to collaborate with other researchers to conduct such projects.

How AHM database was developed

The AHM database is a product of an extensive literature search for articles that translate, validate, adapt or develop health measures in the Arabic language. This included multiple health literature databases such as Pubmed, CINNAHL and EMBASE databases. Both published articles and abstracts were included. The King Fahad National Library database (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), which includes literature from Saudi post graduate students, was also searched for unpublished work including thesis and manuscripts. A second search was conducted using the names of prominent authors and cross-referencing. Two epidemiologists then reviewed the articles found and excluded duplicates and those articles not meeting the inclusion criteria. A second team of epidemiologists then extracted various information from the article and entered it into a database. This included the article abstract, the name of the measure, sample size, age range, and the population or condition used to test the measure. Information on the methodology used in the article is also described with links to the article. Information on the measure was then added including a description of the measure, the area of assessment and conditions it was designed to evaluate and the age group for which it is to be used. The number of items and time to conduct the measure was also added, when available. Access to the measure is via a link to the measure or by contacting the first author of the article. AHM have attempted to provide the email for the author of the measure in order to facilitate access. A future publication will further elaborate on the methodology used to develop the database and the results of the search. The database will be updated annually using the same procedure described.

What does AHM offer?

The database allows users to search for measures according to keywords, particular areas of assessment or by conditions. It then provides a list of possible measures available in Arabic. Information on the measure available on the database include its description, the areas of assessment and conditions it is used for, the age range for which it was developed, the number of items and time to conduct the measurement and how to access the instrument . AHM also provides a summary of the literature which describes how the measure was developed into Arabic. As our goal is to assist users to attain the Arabic version of the measure, we have provided a link to any tool which is freely available on-line. If the measure is not freely available on-line, we have provided the contact information for the author / institute that you may contact for permission to have access to the measure.

For more information on how to use the database see How to use the database.

Are all measures in the database valid and reliable?

DISCLAIMER: The database describes the methodology used in the studies however the AHM team has not conducted a review of the quality of the studies used to develop these measures therefore it is to the users discretion to review the literature and assess if the measure meets their needs and standards. Inclusion of a measure into the database does not constitute an endorsement by AHM.

Why are the full texts of articles and measures not always available?

We are committed to abiding by copyright laws and therefore cannot provide direct access to articles or measures which are not open-access. We hope, however, that this database will facilitate the users search for information and access to the appropriate measurement tools by providing information on the tools available and the contact information of the author. For comments or more information on how the database was developed please contact us at hsrc-ahm@pnu.edu.sa

Measures I would like to be translated/validated to Arabic

If you are looking for a specific measure and cannot find it in the database you may contact us (hsrc-ahm@pnu.edu.sa) and we will add it to our users measures wish list where researchers may be prompted to choose your measure for a translation and validation project.

The Arabic Health Measures Survey Development Program

This unique program aspires to be the leading center for the development of high quality validated Arabic Health measures. The program provides training workshops on the translation and validation of instruments and collaborates and assists researchers in development of Arabic measures. There are several current projects being conducted by the Health Sciences Research Center. If you would like to collaborate or learn more about the program please contact us hsrc-ahm@pnu.edu.sa

Glossary of Terms

A list of definitions of the terms used in this website is available in Glossary of terms page.

AHM Team

The AHM database was developed by a team of epidemiologists and IT specialists from the Health Sciences Research Center at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University . Work on the database began in April 2017 and the website was launched in October 2018.

Nada Albawardi
Epidemiologist with MPH who initiated and now oversees the AHM program. Her research interests in physical activity and sedentary behavior stem from her background as a physical therapist.

Doaa AlJasser
BSc in epidemiology and works on data extraction and entry for the AHM. Her research interest is mental health.

Lama Alrasheed
BSc in epidemiology and works on data extraction and entry for the AHM. Her research interest is women's health.

Sultana AlSulaiman
BSc in epidemiology and works on data extraction and entry for the AHM. Her research interest is physical activity.

Maryam Alamasi
Research Informaticist and the Technical Product Manager for the development of the AHM database and website.

Wejdan AlAhaideb
IT specialist, and was the primary developer of the AHM database and website. She is a member of the Arabic Sentiment Analysis research group which works on the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques.

Dr. Ahmed Abdullah
IT consultant for the AHM project and is also responsible for the System Administration of HSRC servers.

Etidal AlFantoukh
MSc in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. She is a Research Project Manager who works on matters concerning marketing and legal issues relating to AHM. Her research interests include nutrition and health policy.

Rawan AlBogamy
BA in English Language and Translation and is a key member of the Arabic Health Measures survey translation committee. She also plays an integral part in preparing the Arabic versions of the AHM and other websites and documents for HSRC.


The HSRC would like to extend their gratitude to Dr Quratulain Shaikh as she played an integral part in the development of the AHM database and conducted the initial search for articles.

HSRC would also like to recognize Dr Hana Al-Sobayel (King Saud University) whose desire and support for an Arabic measures database "planted the seed" for what would become the AHM database.

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Articles last updated: December 2020