Conceptualisation and development of the Conversational Health Literacy Assessment Tool (CHAT)

New tool to support person-centred care and the consumer-health professional interaction

Authors: Jonathan O’Hara, Melanie Hawkins, Roy Batterham, Sarity Dodson, Richard H. Osborne and Alison Beauchamp BMC Health Services Research 2018;18:199 Background The aim of this study was to develop a tool to support health workers’ ability to identify patients’ multidimensional health literacy strengths and challenges. The tool was intended to be suitable for administration in healthcare settings where health workers must identify health literacy priorities as the basis for person-centred care. Methods Development was based on a qualitative co-design process that used the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) as a framework to generate questions. Health workers were recruited to participate in an online consultation, a workshop, and two rounds of pilot testing. Results Participating health workers identified and refined ten questions that target five areas of assessment: supportive professional relationships, supportive personal relationships, health information access and comprehension, current health behaviours, and health promotion barriers and support. Conclusions Preliminary evidence suggests that application of the Conversational Health Literacy Assessment Tool (CHAT) can support health workers to better understand the health literacy challenges and supportive resources of their patients. As an integrated clinical process, the CHAT can supplement existing intake and assessment procedures across healthcare settings to give insight into patients’ circumstances so that decisions about care can be tailored to be more appropriate and effective.

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