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Health Promot Int. 2014 Dec;29(4):601-7. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dat011. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Evaluation of a health literacy screening tool in primary care patients: evidence from Serbia.

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Institute of Social Medicine
Institute of Social Medicine.
Institute of Medical Statistics and Informatics, Medical School Belgrade University, Dr Subotica 15, Belgrade 1100, Serbia.


Improving health literacy skills is important for patient comprehension of health-related topics and their ability to attend to their medical problems. Promoting health literacy is a pivotal policy for maintaining and promoting health. The objective of the present study was to translate the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA; long and short versions) into Serbian and evaluate the translated and cross-culturally adapted questionnaires in Serbian primary care patients. The translated TOFHLA questionnaires were administered to 120 patients. Additionally, a self-completed questionnaire was used. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were measured. The mean score for the TOFHLA was 73.49 (median, 78; SD = 17.94; range, 0-100) and the mean score for the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (STOFHLA) was 29.28 (median, 32; SD = 6.16; range, 0-36). Sex, age, education, self-perceived health and presence of any chronic disease were associated with health literacy scores. The internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) was 0.73 for the TOFHLA numeracy subset, 0.95 for reading comprehension, 0.94 for the TOFHLA and 0.90 for the STOFHLA. The Pearson correlation between the TOFHLA and STOFHLA was 0.89. The area under the curve of these two tests was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.602-0.817). The Serbian translated versions of the TOHFLA questionnaires offer valid measures of functional health literacy. There were no differences between the reliability and validity of the short and long TOFHLA forms.


Serbia; TOFHLA; health literacy; primary health care

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