The aim of this study was to find an instrument to measure patients’ perceived information needs at the time of discharge from a surgical ward, to translate the instrument into Swedish, and to test the translation in a pilot study. Another aim was to describe the process of translating an instrument and testing the translation for validity and reliability.

The PLNS – Patient Learning Needs Scale-was developed by Bubela et al 1990 and has been used in a couple of studies to measure information needs.

The perceived information needs of 22 adult individuals who underwent surgery due to colon or rectal cancer were collected. Sixteen out of 22 patients found all the 40 items easy to understand. Cronbach’s alpha for the Swedish version of the scale was 0.94. Both the validity and reliability need to be studied in a larger sample of patients, but the results indicate that information related to treatment and complications was the most important.