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Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Print version ISSN 2237-6089On-line version ISSN 2238-0019


SILVEIRA, Ana Ligia da Silva  and  GRASSI-OLIVEIRA, Rodrigo. Semantic validation of the ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tools (ICAST) in Brazilian Portuguese. Trends Psychiatry Psychother. [online]. 2016, vol.38, n.2, pp.105-110. ISSN 2238-0019.


The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Child Abuse Screening Tools (ICAST) is a battery of questionnaires created by the World Health Organization, the United Nations and ISPCAN for researching maltreatment in childhood. This study aims to translate, to adapt and to validate the semantic equivalence of all items on the three questionnaires: ICAST-C (ICAST version for Children), ICAST-R (Retrospective Interview) and ICAST-P (ICAST version for Parents).


The process of translation and semantic validation comprised five methodological steps: 1) translation; 2) back-translation; 3) correction and semantic adaptation; 4) validation of content by professional experts in the area of abuse in childhood; and 5) a study of their acceptability to a sample of the target population, using a verbal rating scale.


In the evaluation of the expert committee, there was need to adapt several words for the Brazilian population while maintaining semantic and conceptual equivalence. In the ICAST-C acceptability study, children exhibited some difficulty understanding 7 of the items (out of 69 questions). For ICAST-P, parents reported a lack of clarity in 5 items (out of 57 questions). These issues were resolved and the Brazilian version of ICAST 3.0 was concluded.


The ICAST battery is an internationally recognized tool and the process of translation into Portuguese and semantic adaptation was performed successfully. The final version proved to be easily understandable and semantic validation results were adequate. This battery has proved useful in investigation of childhood maltreatment.

Keywords : Child abuse; assessment; trauma; stress; instrument; childhood; maltreatment; neglect; interview.

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