A Cardiovascular Health Intervention for Spanish Speakers: The Health Literacy and ESL Curriculum.
ABSTRACT: Spanish speakers in the United States are in need of effective interventions that address both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and health literacy. However, the literature lacks interventions that have used and evaluated a strategies that focus on both, particularly at the community level. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of a health literacy curriculum on cardiovascular health behavior among Spanish speaking adults. It used a randomized controlled pre-posttest design. Participants included Hispanic adults with a low-to-intermediate level of English proficiency. The intervention group received the health literacy and English as a second language (ESL) Curriculum with CVD specific content, while the control group received a conventional ESL curriculum. Tools included the Spanish Cardiovascular Health Questionnaire (CSC), the test of functional health literacy in adults (TOFHLA), and the Combined English Language Skills Assessment. Analysis of change scores included independent sample t test and multiple linear regression. A total of 155 participants completed the study. There was a significant greater improvement for the intervention group in change of CSC score from pretest to posttest (P?=?0.049) compared to controls. The study also found significantly improved TOFHLA (P?=?0.011), however it did not find a relationship between changes in CVD behavior and health literacy or English proficiency. The Health Literacy and ESL Curriculum constitutes a valuable resource for addressing the cardiovascular health, literacy, and language needs of Spanish-speaking adults. Interventions that take a multilevel education and health approach may be more effective in addressing the needs of immigrants. Research should further explore the interactions between CVD behavior, health literacy, and English proficiency.
Project description:The intent of the study was to develop and validate a comparable health literacy test for Spanish-speaking and English-speaking populations.The design of the instrument, named the Short Assessment of Health Literacy-Spanish and English (SAHL-S&E), combined a word recognition test, as appearing in the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM), and a comprehension test using multiple-choice questions designed by an expert panel. We used the item response theory (IRT) in developing and validating the instrument.Validation of SAHL-S&E involved testing and comparing the instrument with other health literacy instruments in a sample of 201 Spanish-speaking and 202 English-speaking subjects recruited from the Ambulatory Care Center at the University of North Carolina Healthcare System.Based on IRT analysis, 18 items were retained in the comparable test. The Spanish version of the test, SAHL-S, was highly correlated with other Spanish health literacy instruments, Short Assessment of Health Literacy for Spanish-Speaking Adults (r=0.88, p<.05) and the Spanish Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA) (r=0.62, p<.05). The English version, SAHL-E, had high correlations with REALM (r=0.94, p<.05) and the English TOFHLA (r=0.68, p<.05). Significant correlations were found between SAHL-S&E and years of schooling in both Spanish- and English-speaking samples (r=0.15 and 0.39, respectively). SAHL-S&E displayed satisfactory reliability of 0.80 and 0.89 in the Spanish- and English-speaking samples, respectively. IRT analysis indicated that the SAHL-S&E score was highly reliable for individuals with a low level of health literacy.The new instrument, SAHL-S&E, has good reliability and validity. It is particularly useful for identifying individuals with low health literacy and could be used to screen for low health literacy among Spanish and English speakers.
Project description:Given the growing body of evidence demonstrating the significant implications of health literacy on a myriad of outcomes, researchers continue to incorporate health literacy metrics in studies. With this proliferation in measurement of health literacy in research, it has become increasingly important to understand how various health literacy tools perform in specific populations. Our objective was to compare the performance of two widely used tests, the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) and the Newest Vital Sign (NVS) among and between a sample of English and Spanish-speaking patients. Adults (N = 402) ages 50-75 years participating in a trial to promote colorectal cancer screening completed in-person interviews which included both measures of health literacy. In the full sample, the tests were moderately correlated (r = 0.69, p < .0001); however, there was a stronger correlation among those completing the test in Spanish (r = 0.83) as compared with English (r = 0.58, p < .0001). English speakers more often were categorized as having adequate literacy by the S-TOFHLA as compared with the NVS, whereas Spanish speakers scored consistently low on both instruments. These findings indicate that the categorization of participants into levels of literacy is likely to vary, depending on whether the NVS or S-TOFHLA is used for assessment, a factor which researchers should be aware of when selecting literacy assessments.
Project description:Spanish-speaking language-minority (LM) children are at an elevated risk of struggling academically and display signs of that risk during early childhood. Therefore, high-quality research is needed to identify instructional techniques that promote the school readiness of Spanish-speaking LM children. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention that utilized an experimental curriculum and two professional development models for the development of English and Spanish early literacy skills among LM children. We also evaluated whether LM children's proficiency in one language moderated the effect of the intervention on early literacy skills in the other language, as well as whether the intervention was differentially effective for LM and monolingual English-speaking children. Five hundred twenty-six Spanish-speaking LM children and 447 monolingual English-speaking children enrolled in 26 preschool centers in Los Angeles, CA participated in this study. Results indicated that the intervention was effective for improving LM children's code-related but not language-related English early literacy skills. There were no effects of the intervention on children's Spanish early literacy skills. Proficiency in Spanish did not moderate the effect of the intervention for any English early literacy outcomes; however, proficiency in English significantly moderated the effect of the intervention for Spanish oral language skills, such that the effect of the intervention was stronger for children with higher proficiency in English than it was for children with lower proficiency in English. In general, there were not differential effects of the intervention for LM and monolingual children. Taken together, these findings indicate that high-quality, evidence-based instruction can improve the early literacy skills of LM children and that the same instructional techniques are effective for enhancing the early literacy skills of LM and monolingual children.
Project description:The Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. is large and growing and is known to have lower health literacy than the English-speaking population. Less is known about the health numeracy of this population due to a lack of health numeracy measures in Spanish.we aimed to develop and validate a short and easy to use measure of health numeracy for Spanish-speaking adults: the Spanish Numeracy Understanding in Medicine Instrument (Spanish-NUMi).Items were generated based on qualitative studies in English- and Spanish-speaking adults and translated into Spanish using a group translation and consensus process. Candidate items for the Spanish NUMi were selected from an eight-item validated English Short NUMi. Differential Item Functioning (DIF) was conducted to evaluate equivalence between English and Spanish items. Cronbach's alpha was computed as a measure of reliability and a Pearson's correlation was used to evaluate the association between test scores and the Spanish Test of Functional Health Literacy (S-TOFHLA) and education level.Two-hundred and thirty-two Spanish-speaking Chicago residents were included in the study.The study population was diverse in age, gender, and level of education and 70 % reported Mexico as their country of origin. Two items of the English eight-item Short NUMi demonstrated DIF and were dropped. The resulting six-item test had a Cronbach's alpha of 0.72, a range of difficulty using classical test statistics (percent correct: 0.48 to 0.86), and adequate discrimination (item-total score correlation: 0.34-0.49). Scores were positively correlated with print literacy as measured by the S- TOFHLA (r?=?0.67; p?<?0.001) and varied as predicted across grade level; mean scores for up to eighth grade, ninth through twelfth grade, and some college experience or more, respectively, were 2.48 (SD?±?1.64), 4.15 (SD?±?1.45), and 4.82 (SD?±?0.37).The Spanish NUMi is a reliable and valid measure of important numerical concepts used in communicating health information.
Project description:Deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) adults have lower health literacy compared to hearing adults, but it is unclear whether this disparity also occurs in adolescence. We used the Health Literacy Skills Instrument-Short Form (HLSI-SF), Short Form of the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA), Comprehensive Heart Disease Knowledge Questionnaire (CHDKQ), and newly constructed interactive and critical health literacy survey items to quantify D/HH and hearing adolescents' health literacy. We adapted and translated survey materials into sign language and spoken English to reduce testing bias due to variable English language skills. Participants were 187 D/HH and 94 hearing college-bound high school students. When we adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, school grade, and socioeconomic status, D/HH adolescents demonstrated weaker general and functional health literacy and cardiovascular health knowledge than hearing adolescents on the HLSI, S-TOFHLA, and CHDKQ (all ps < .0001). Standard health literacy or knowledge scores were associated with several interactive and critical health literacy skills (all ps < .05). D/HH adolescents who reported greater hearing-culture identity, having hearing aids, experiencing better hearing with assistive devices, having good quality of communication with parents, and attending hearing schools at least half of the time had higher functional health literacy (all ps < .025). Those who reported English as their best language and attending hearing schools at least half of the time had higher cardiovascular health knowledge scores (all ps < .03). Results suggest that interventions to improve D/HH adolescents' health literacy should target their health-related conversations with their families; access to printed health information; and access to health information from other people, especially health care providers and educators.
Project description:Limited health literacy (HL) contributes to poor health outcomes and disparities, and direct measurement is often time-intensive. Self-reported HL questions have not been validated among Spanish-speaking and diverse English-speaking populations.To evaluate three self-reported questions: 1 "How confident are you filling out medical forms?"; 2 "How often do you have problems learning about your medical condition because of difficulty understanding written information?"; and 3 "How often do you have someone help you read hospital materials?" Answers were based on a 5-point Likert scale.This was a validation study nested within a trial of diabetes self-management support in the San Francisco Department of Public Health.English and Spanish-speaking adults with type 2 diabetes receiving primary care.Using the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (s-TOFHLA) in English and Spanish as the reference, we classified HL as inadequate, marginal, or adequate. We calculated the C-index and test characteristics of the three questions and summative scale compared to the s-TOFHLA and assessed variations in performance by language, race/ethnicity, age, and education.Of 296 participants, 48% were Spanish-speaking; 9% were White, non-Hispanic; 47% had inadequate HL and 12% had marginal HL. Overall, 57% reported being confident with forms "somewhat" or less. The "confident with forms" question performed best for detecting inadequate (C-index = 0.82, (0.77-0.87)) and inadequate plus marginal HL (C index = 0.81, (0.76-0.86); p<0.01 for differences from other questions), and performed comparably to the summative scale. The "confident with forms" question and scale also performed best across language, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and age.A single self-reported HL question about confidence with forms and a summative scale of three questions discriminated between Spanish and English speakers with adequate HL and those with inadequate and/or inadequate plus marginal HL. The "confident with forms" question or the summative scale may be useful for estimating HL in clinical research involving Spanish-speaking and English-speaking, chronically-ill, diverse populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) is widely used, misidentification of individuals with low health literacy (HL) in specific HL dimensions, like numeracy, is a concern. We examined the degree to which individuals scored as "adequate" HL on the S-TOFHLA would be considered as having low HL by two additional numerical measures. METHODS:English-speaking adults aged 45-75 years were recruited from a large, urban academic medical center and a community foodbank in the United States. Participants completed the S-TOFHLA, the Subjective Numeracy Scale (SNS), and the Graphical Literacy Measure (GL), an objective measure of a person's ability to interpret numeric information presented graphically. Established cut-points or a median split classified participants and having high and low numeracy. RESULTS:Participants (n = 187), on average were: aged 58 years; 63% female; 70% Black/African American; and 45% had a high school degree or less. Of those who scored "adequate" on the S-TOFHLA, 50% scored low on the SNS and 40% scored low on GL. Correlation between the S-TOFHLA and the SNS Total was moderate (r = 0.22, n = 186, p = 0.01), while correlation between the S-TOFHLA and the GL Total was large (r = 0.53, n = 187, p ≤ 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:Findings suggest that the S-TOFHLA may not capture an individuals' HL in the dimension of numeracy. Efforts are needed to develop more encompassing and practical strategies for identifying those with low HL for use in research and clinical practice. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT02151032 (retrospectively registered: May 30, 2014).
Project description:Background:Health literacy is an essential predictor of health status, disease control and adherence to medications. Objectives:The study goals were to assess the health literacy level of the general population in Saudi Arabia using translated Gulf Arabic version of the short-version of the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) and Single Item Literacy Screener (SILS) tests and to measure the relationship between health literacy and education level. Methods:The study was a cross-sectional with a convenience sample of 123 participants from the general population in Riyadh. Data were collected using the modified (Gulf) Arabic versions of both S-TOFHLA and SILS. Fisher's Exact test was used to measure the difference of the health literacy scores according to the education degrees and Cronbach's alpha was used to measure the internal consistency of the S-TOFHLA items. Results:More than half (55.4%) of the participants were male, 50.4% had a middle school or less education level, and we found that 84.4% had adequate health literacy as measured by the S-TOFHLA, compared to 49.6% as measured by SILS. The Fisher's Exact test showed a significant difference (P<.05) in the S-TOFHLA and SILS scores according to education categories. Conclusions:The level of education has a significant positive association with S-TOFHLA and SILS results. The Gulf Arabic version of S-TOFHLA is a reliable test with a good internal consistency and a significant positive correlation between the two parts of S-TOFHLA. We recommend the use of S-TOFHLA or SILS at the first patient visit.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To impute limited health literacy from commonly measured socio-demographic data and to compare it to the Short-Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) for estimating the influence of limited health literacy on health status in the elderly. METHODS: The Prudential Medicare Study assesses the S-TOFHLA score, leading to a "reference standard" classification of 25% of people with inadequate literacy; the National Health Interview Survey has no such assessment. We estimated a regression of S-TOFHLA on sex, age, years of schooling, and race/ethnicity in The Prudential Medicare Study data to derive a Demographic Assessment for Health Literacy (DAHL) score, and imputed inadequate literacy to the 25% with the lowest DAHL scores. Using regression, we then examined associations between several health status measures (including hypertension, diabetes, physical and mental SF-12) and inadequate literacy (imputed or test-based). RESULTS: Estimates of association using imputed inadequate literacy closely approximate those obtained using S-TOFHLA-based inadequate literacy for most outcomes examined. CONCLUSIONS: As few population surveys measure health literacy, the DAHL, a readily calculated health literacy proxy score, may be useful for expanding the scope of health literacy research in national survey data.
Project description:The study was intended to develop and validate a health literacy test, termed the Short Assessment of Health Literacy for Spanish-speaking Adults (SAHLSA), for the Spanish-speaking population.The design of SAHLSA was based on the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM), known as the most easily administered tool for assessing health literacy in English. In addition to the word recognition test in REALM, SAHLSA incorporates a comprehension test using multiple-choice questions designed by an expert panel.Validation of SAHLSA involved testing and comparing the tool with other health literacy instruments in a sample of 201 Spanish-speaking and 202 English-speaking subjects recruited from the Ambulatory Care Center at UNC Health Care.With only the word recognition test, REALM could not differentiate the level of health literacy in Spanish. The SAHLSA significantly improved the differentiation. Item response theory analysis was performed to calibrate the SAHLSA and reduce the instrument to 50 items. The resulting instrument, SAHLSA-50, was correlated with the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults, another health literacy instrument, at r=0.65. The SAHLSA-50 score was significantly and positively associated with the physical health status of Spanish-speaking subjects (p<.05), holding constant age and years of education. The instrument displayed good internal reliability (Cronbach's alpha=0.92) and test-retest reliability (Pearson's r=0.86).The new instrument, SAHLSA-50, has good reliability and validity. It could be used in the clinical or community setting to screen for low health literacy among Spanish speakers.