The Critical-Care Pain Observation Tool (CPOT) is recommended for evaluating pain behaviors in patients in the intensive care unit who are unable to report pain. The source of the only published Spanish version of the CPOT does not verify that it underwent a formal translation process.


To describe the translation into Spanish and cultural adaptation of the original French version of the CPOT.


Key persons in the translation process included one with a master’s degree in translation, a critical care physician, nurse faculty members with vast experience in intensive care units, and the instrument’s developer. This team followed the Principles of Good Practice for the Translation and Cultural Adaptation Process for Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures as a guide to translate and culturally adapt the CPOT.


The first Spanish-language version was back translated to French and was also compared with the English version. Revisions necessitated a second version, which was submitted to experts in critical care. Their modifications required a third version, which was back translated to French and discussed with the CPOT developer, after which a fourth version was created. Finally, a linguistic expert proofread the tool, and the translation leaders incorporated the recommendations, thereby obtaining a final Spanish version.


The Spanish version is ready to undergo validation with patients in the intensive care unit, which is the next step toward its use in assessing pain behaviors among patients in intensive care units where Spanish is spoken.

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