Uncovering health literacy: Developing a remotely administered questionnaire for determining health literacy levels in health disparate populations

Thomas C. Shaw


Introduction: Low health literacy contributes to health disparities. We sought to develop and evaluate a remotely administered tool to measure health literacy in health disparate populations. The basic research design involved asking the remotely administered questions in conjunction with an existing and valid measure of health literacy, the S-TOFHLA, to a non-representative convenience sample of individuals drawn from lower income communities. The measures of the remotely administered questions were then correlated with the results of the S-TOFHLA to determine if there was a connection between the two measures. We found a statistically significant correlation between a single question in the remotely administered survey and the validated S-TOFHLA measure. This research supports previous work that points to the importance of just a single remotely administered question in terms of correspondence with the S-TOFHLA.

Objective: Develop a questionnaire that can be remotely administered to check for Health Literacy.

Methods: Correlation analysis is conducted between various questions and S-TOFHLA scores to determine criterion validity.

Results: A single question, “How confident are you in filling out medical forms by yourself?” outperforms other measures in correlating with the S-TOFHLA scores.

Conclusions: Further assessment of the confidence question both in isolation and in conjunction with other literacy identifiers should be conducted. Also, this question should be tested against other measures of health literacy beyond the S-TOFHLA.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jha.v3n4p149


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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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