The right pick: Does a self-assessment measurement tool correctly identify health care consumers with inadequate health literacy?

Peter J. Schulz, Bernt Lindahl, Uwe Hartung, Ulf Naslund, Margareta Norberg, Steven Nordin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether a self-report measurement instrument (the Brief Health Literacy Screen, BHLS) correctly identifies healthcare consumers with inadequate health literacy. The yardstick for assessing the tool was the Newest Vital Sign (NVS). Methods: The study used baseline data from the Västerbotten Intervention Programme - VIsualiZation of Asymptomatic Atherosclerotic disease for Optimum Cardiovascular Prevention (VIPVIZA), a randomized controlled trial that is nested within the Västerbotten Intervention Program (VIP) in Sweden. Our analyses were computed on a subsample of 460 persons who underwent the measure of both health literacy scales. ROC analysis was used for the crucial computations. Results: The potential of the BHLS to identify healthcare consumers with inadequate health literacy remained unsatisfying for the complete sample, but reached an acceptable level for women and persons with only basic education. Conclusions: The relationship is somewhat weaker than in comparable research in various other European countries. The differences might partly have been caused by the use of self-perception questions. Self-delusions, invariably a part of self-perception, may have affected the respective measure. Practice implications: Caution is advised when patients’ health literacy is assessed by only a few questions for self-report.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-932
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume105
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Keywords

  • Brief Health Literacy Screen (BHLS)
  • Health literacy, Self-report measures
  • Newest Vital Signs (NVS)
  • Performance-based measures

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