Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

State of the science of health literacy measures: Validity implications for minority populations

TitleState of the science of health literacy measures: Validity implications for minority populations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsNguyen, TH, Park, H, Han, HR, Chan, KS, Paasche-Orlow, MK, Haun, J, Kim, MT
JournalPatient Educ Couns
Date PublishedJul 29
ISBN Number1873-5134 (Electronic)0738-3991 (Linking)
Accession Number26275841
KeywordsHealth Literacy, Minority Health, Psychometric, review

OBJECTIVES: To review the evidence supporting the validity of health literacy (HL) measures for ethnic minority populations. METHODS: PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO databases were searched for HL measures between 1965 and 2013. RESULTS: A total of 109HL measures were identified; 37 were non-English HL measures and 72 were English language measures. Of the 72 English language measures, 17 did not specify the racial/ethnic characteristic of their sample. Of the remaining 55 measures, 10 (18%) did not include blacks, 30 (55%) did not include Hispanics, and 35 (64%) did not include Asians in their validation sample. When Hispanic and Asian Americans were included, they accounted for small percentages in the overall sample. Between 2005-2013, a growing number of REALM and TOFHLA translations were identified, and new HL measures for specific cultural/linguistic groups within and outside the United States were developed. CONCLUSIONS: While there are a growing number of new and translated HL measures for minority populations, many existing HL measures have not been properly validated for minority groups. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: HL measures that have not been properly validated for a given population should be piloted before wider use. In addition, improving HL instrument development/validation methods are imperative to increase the validity of these measures for minority populations.