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Review

Generic Health Literacy Measurements for Adults: A Scoping Review

1
Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
2
Centre for Health Systems and Policy Research, Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217768
Received: 25 August 2020 / Revised: 13 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 23 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Global Health Literacy)
Background: Generic health literacy measurement (GHLM) is an important tool to identify individuals with limited health literacy and can assist the design of tailored interventions for improving public health literacy. However, there is no consensus on measuring generic health literacy. The present study aims to review current GHLM used for adults in the literature. Methods: A scoping review was undertaken to map the available measurements designed to assess generic health literacy. Results: The review identified 19 GHLM for adults. Most of them applied a multidimensional definition of health literacy with a focus on individuals’ abilities to access, appraise, understand, and apply health information and services. Nutbeam’s conceptual model and Sørensen’s integrated model were widely used among the identified measures as the theoretical foundation. While the social determinants of health (SDH) were acknowledged in the two models, it remains unmentioned in many of the identified measures based on the Nutbeam’s model and needs further development in the measure based on the Sørensen’s model. A total of 39 different domains were assessed in the 19 measurements: prose was identified in 8 measurements and was the most prominent domain; followed by numeracy (n = 7) and interactive (n = 7). SDH related domains such as social support (n = 3), social capital (n = 1) were seldom included in the identified measurements. Conclusions: Although current GHLM adopted a multidimensional construct, they mainly focused on individuals’ abilities and SDH has not been well-developed in the assessment. Further research is required to advance the measuring of the interaction between SDH and health literacy. View Full-Text
Keywords: generic health literacy; measurements; adults; social determinants of health generic health literacy; measurements; adults; social determinants of health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tian, C.Y.; Xu, R.H.; Mo, P.K.-H.; Dong, D.; Wong, E.L.-Y. Generic Health Literacy Measurements for Adults: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7768. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217768

AMA Style

Tian CY, Xu RH, Mo PK-H, Dong D, Wong EL-Y. Generic Health Literacy Measurements for Adults: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):7768. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217768

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tian, Cindy Yue, Richard Huan Xu, Phoenix Kit-Han Mo, Dong Dong, and Eliza Lai-Yi Wong. 2020. "Generic Health Literacy Measurements for Adults: A Scoping Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 21: 7768. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217768

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