Practical Assessment of Adult Literacy in Health Care

Terry C. Davis, Robert Michielutte, Eunice N. Askov, Mark V. Williams, Barry D Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Low literacy is a pervasive and underrecognized problem in health care. Approximately 21% of American adults are functionally illiterate, and another 27% have marginal literacy skills. Such patients may have difficulty reading and understanding discharge instructions, medication labels, patient education materials, consent forms, or health surveys. Properly assessing the literacy level of individual patients or groups may avoid problems in clinical care and research. This article reviews the use of literacy assessments, discusses their application in a variety of health care settings, and cites issues providers need to consider before testing. The authors describe informal and formal methods of screening for reading and comprehension in English and Spanish including the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine, the Wide Range Achievement Test-3 , the Cloze procedure, the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults, and others. Practical implications and recommendations for specific use are made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-624
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume25
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Delivery of Health Care
Reading
Consent Forms
Health Literacy
Patient Education
Health Surveys
Medicine
Literacy
Healthcare
Adult Literacy
Research
Health
Uses of Literacy
Literacy Skills
Achievement Tests
Medication
Formal Methods
Consent
Testing
Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Davis, T. C., Michielutte, R., Askov, E. N., Williams, M. V., & Weiss, B. D. (1998). Practical Assessment of Adult Literacy in Health Care. Health Education and Behavior, 25(5), 613-624.

Practical Assessment of Adult Literacy in Health Care. / Davis, Terry C.; Michielutte, Robert; Askov, Eunice N.; Williams, Mark V.; Weiss, Barry D.

In: Health Education and Behavior, Vol. 25, No. 5, 10.1998, p. 613-624.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Davis, TC, Michielutte, R, Askov, EN, Williams, MV & Weiss, BD 1998, 'Practical Assessment of Adult Literacy in Health Care', Health Education and Behavior, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 613-624.
Davis TC, Michielutte R, Askov EN, Williams MV, Weiss BD. Practical Assessment of Adult Literacy in Health Care. Health Education and Behavior. 1998 Oct;25(5):613-624.
Davis, Terry C. ; Michielutte, Robert ; Askov, Eunice N. ; Williams, Mark V. ; Weiss, Barry D. / Practical Assessment of Adult Literacy in Health Care. In: Health Education and Behavior. 1998 ; Vol. 25, No. 5. pp. 613-624.
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