Assessment of Health Literacy in the Child Population
RINSAD Trimestre 3 2019
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health literacy
systematic review

How to Cite

Bas Sarmiento, P., & Fernández Gutiérrez, M. (2019). Assessment of Health Literacy in the Child Population. Journal of Childhood and Health, 1(3). Retrieved from


Background: Low levels of health literacy (HL) are associated with poorer health outcomes for populations. The implementation of HL assessment strategies has the potential to change clinical practice and ensure better health outcomes.

Objectives: To determine the best way to assess health literacy in the child population and to identify the instrument with the best psychometric properties.

Methods: A  comprehensive  systematic  review  of  the  scientific  literature  in  the  ERIC,  ProQuest,  PsycINFO, PubMed, and Science Direct databases was conducted for all articles published to date in English and Spanish. A total of 304 articles were obtained and classified with Excel to remove duplicates, resulting in a total of 165 potentially relevant articles. After a full-text analysis, 11 studies were selected.

Results: Nineteen instruments were identified that measure health literacy in children: 13 general HL instruments and 6 specific HL instruments relating to food, mental health, and cancer.

Discussion/Conclusions: Instruments that are adaptations of the original tools used in adults, although they were shown to have good psychometric properties, they have the same deficiencies. The HLSAC instrument is based on a multidimensional model and has been demonstrated to have internal consistency and construct validity. There is a need for reliable and valid tools that cover all dimensions of the construct and are adapted to the developmental stage of children.

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