Measuring Comprehensive, General Health Literacy in the General Adult Population: The Development and Validation of the HLS19-Q12 Instrument in Seventeen Countries

Jürgen M. Pelikan, Thomas Link, Christa Straßmayr*, Karin Waldherr, Tobias Alfers, Henrik Bøggild, Robert Griebler, Maria Lopatina, Dominika Mikšová, Marie Germund Nielsen, Sandra Peer, Mitja Vrdelja, The HLS19 Consortium of the WHO Action Network M-POHL

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: For improving health literacy (HL) by national and international public health policy, measuring population HL by a comprehensive instrument is needed. A short instrument, the HLS 19-Q12 based on the HLS-EU-Q47, was developed, translated, applied, and validated in 17 countries in the WHO European Region.

METHODS: For factorial validity/dimensionality, Cronbach alphas, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), Rasch model (RM), and Partial Credit Model (PCM) were used. For discriminant validity, correlation analysis, and for concurrent predictive validity, linear regression analysis were carried out.

RESULTS: The Cronbach alpha coefficients are above 0.7. The fit indices for the single-factor CFAs indicate a good model fit. Some items show differential item functioning in certain country data sets. The regression analyses demonstrate an association of the HLS 19-Q12 score with social determinants and selected consequences of HL. The HLS 19-Q12 score correlates sufficiently highly (r ≥ 0.897) with the equivalent score for the HLS 19-Q47 long form.

CONCLUSIONS: The HLS 19-Q12, based on a comprehensive understanding of HL, shows acceptable psychometric and validity characteristics for different languages, country contexts, and methods of data collection, and is suitable for measuring HL in general, national, adult populations. There are also indications for further improvement of the instrument.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14129
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number21
ISSN1661-7827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Health Literacy
  • Language
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • national adult population
  • HLS19-Q12
  • instrument development
  • health literacy measurement
  • HLS19
  • validation

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