Publication27th August 2016
Maindal HT, Kayser L, Norgaard O, Bo A, Elsworth GR, Osborne RH.
SpringerPlus 2016 5:1232 doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2887-9
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Health literacy is an important construct in population health and healthcare requiring rigorous measurement. The Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ), with nine scales, measures a broad perception of health literacy. This study aimed to adapt the HLQ to the Danish setting, and to examine the factor structure, homogeneity, reliability and discriminant validity. The HLQ was adapted using forward–backward translation, consensus conference and cognitive interviews (n = 15). Psychometric properties were examined based on data collected by face-to-face interview (n = 481). Tests included difficulty level, composite scale reliability and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Cognitive testing revealed that only minor re-wording was required. The easiest scale to respond to positively was ‘Social support for health’, and the hardest were ‘Navigating the healthcare system’ and ‘Appraisal of health information’. CFA of the individual scales showed acceptably high loadings (range 0.49–0.93). CFA fit statistics after including correlated residuals were good for seven scales, acceptable for one. Composite reliability and Cronbach’s α were >0.8 for all but one scale. A nine-factor CFA model was fitted to items with no cross-loadings or correlated residuals allowed. Given this restricted model, the fit was satisfactory. The HLQ appears robust for its intended application of assessing health literacy in a range of settings. Further work is required to demonstrate sensitivity to measure changes.