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Mil Med. 2009 Nov;174(11):1137-43.

Health literacy rates in a sample of active duty military personnel.

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  • 1Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), 17211 Palomino Ct., Olney, MD 20852, USA.


The results reported in this article are from a larger descriptive study examining the health literacy rates in active duty military personnel receiving health care within a culture of universal access. The purpose of this article is to describe the health literacy skills among a sample of active duty military personnel with comparison to the national population. Data were collected using the shortened version of the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) and the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) in a convenience sample of 155 active duty subjects at a major military hospital from January 2007 through May 2007. Results indicate that military personnel have adequate health literacy skills although variations were noted on the basis of health training and race/ethnicity. Although the S-TOFHLA was found to be a practical tool for assessing health literacy in a high-tempo health care setting, additional reliability and validity testing is needed.

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