Thursday, October 1, 2015

Health Literacy Month :: Screening Tools

Health Literacy Month - October

Health Literacy Screening Tools

Health Literacy Outloud: 10.28.2104 (HLOL #124)
OsborneBarryWeiss [ 20:44 | 0.01 MB ]  mp3

Barry D Weiss, MD is a tenured professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He also is an affiliate professor of public health in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Weiss has been involved in health literacy and patient-physician communication for much of his professional career. Among his many accomplishments, he has written more than 150 journal articles, authored several books, advised numerous committees and organizations about health literacy, and developed the health literacy screening tool, the Newest Vital Sign.

In this podcast, Dr. Weiss talks with Helen Osborne about:
Several well-known health literacy screening tools including the REALM (Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine), TOFHLA (Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults), Single Item Health Literacy Screen, and NVS (the Newest Vital Sign).
~ Reasons to use, and more importantly, not to use health literacy screening tools in routine clinical settings.
~ Recommendations about communicating effectively with everyone.

More ways to learn:
~ Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine,
~ TOFHLA. The whole instrument is available for purchase at

To find an online version of the Short TOFHLA, search the term “TOFHLA pdf”.
~ Single Item Health Literacy Screens,

Osborne H, “In Other Words: Screening for Health Literacy Using the Newest Vital Sign,” 2007. On Call Full text at

Read this podcast’s written transcript.

More information about Screening Tools: 

Background information and Links for screening tools

13 assessments on this page.  Some may be downloaded while others must be requested

New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute
Title of Screening Tools
   Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM)
   Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine - Revised (REALM-R)
   Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA)
   Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA)
   Newest Vital Sign (NVS)
   Brief Estimate of Health Knowledge and Action – HIV Version
   Single Item Literacy Screen
   How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?
   SOS Mnemonic
Description and Average administration time
Measurement of literacy levels
Strengths and Limitations
Location / Availability: Free, Purchase, or Citation

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