Health literacy plays a significant role in one's ability to fully understand health information. Much information exists concerning health literacy and adult health, but few studies have focused on health literacy for adolescents. However, adolescents are increasingly involved with their health care and are at a crucial stage in their development, experiencing many changes and learning skills for adulthood while still accessing settings that can facilitate interventions. In order to promote research focusing on adolescents and health literacy, the main aim of this study is to measure health literacy among a sample of adolescents and to test a new method of assessment. This study will compare previously validated methods for assessing aspects of health literacy with a set of newly developed self-report questions designed to assess a range of health literacy skills (Health Literacy Assessment Scale for Adolescents, HAS-A). This study will use a convenience sample of 300 adolescents recruited from a pediatric clinic. The development of the HAS-A will allow for researchers to include a validated scale assessing health literacy in self-administered surveys as either an explanatory or outcome variable to support future research in the area of adolescent health literacy.
This research is relevant to public health because health literacy has been identified as a significant public health issue given its potential to influence health outcomes. By enhancing efforts to assess health literacy for adolescents, those youth with low health literacy skills can be identified in order to promote participation in interventions which can provide assistance for improving health literacy abilities. The newly developed health literacy assessment tool is also important to public health because it will allow for the inclusion of health literacy measures in survey studies, promoting research that will lead to a greater understanding of predictors for and outcomes of low health literacy.
|Manganello, Jennifer A; DeVellis, Robert F; Davis, Terry C et al. (2015) Development of the Health Literacy Assessment Scale for Adolescents (HAS-A). J Commun Healthc 8:172-184|