• Article

The Health Literacy Skills Instrument: A 10-Item Short Form

The 25-item Health Literacy Skills Instrument (HLSI) was designed to measure the ability to read and understand text and locate and interpret information in documents (print literacy), to use quantitative information (numeracy), to listen effectively (oral literacy), and to seek information through the Internet (navigation). It is a publically available measure that can be used in surveillance activities, to evaluate interventions, and in research examining the relation between health literacy and health outcomes. The authors developed a 10-item, short form (SF) version of the HLSI, the HLSI-SF, using data gathered for the development of the longer form. The authors selected 10 items for inclusion in the HLSI-SF and conducted a confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory analyses, then computed Cronbach's alpha. The HLSI-SF demonstrated acceptable internal consistency reliability (α = .70) for use in group-level comparisons. The HSLI-SF has many of the same advantages of the longer version with the additional benefit of taking only approximately 5 to 10 min to administer. The HLSI-SF offers researchers and practitioners a valid and reliable measure of health literacy skills.


Bann, C., McCormack, L., Berkman, N., & Squiers, L. (2012). The Health Literacy Skills Instrument: A 10-Item Short Form. Journal of Health Communication, 17(Suppl. 3), 191-202. https://doi.org/10.1080/10810730.2012.718042