We have previously developed and validated a self-administered questionnaire, modelled after the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Damage Index (SDI), the Lupus Damage Index Questionnaire (LDIQ), which may allow the ascertainment of this construct in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients followed in the community and thus expand observations made about damage. We have now translated, back-translated and adapted the LDIQ to Spanish, Portuguese and French and applied it to patients followed at academic and non-academic centres in North and South America, Portugal and Spain while their physicians scored the SDI. A total of 887 patients (659 Spanish-speaking, 140 Portuguese-speaking and 80 French-speaking patients) and 40 physicians participated. Overall, patients scored all LDIQ versions higher than their physicians (total score and all domains). Infrequent manifestations had less optimal clinimetric properties but overall agreement was more than 95% for the majority of items. Higher correlations were observed among the Spanish-speaking patients than the Portuguese-speaking and French-speaking patients; further adjustments may be needed before the Portuguese and French versions of the LDIQ are applied in community-based studies. The relationship between the LDIQ and other outcome parameters is currently being investigated in a different patient sample.