Monday, July 15, 2024

Comprehensive Review of Health Literacy Organizational Assessment Tools

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A recent systematic scoping review provides a detailed examination of international self-assessment tools designed to measure an organization’s capability to embody health literate characteristics. This research not only highlights the existing tools but also offers a refined list of items essential for developing context-specific assessment tools.

The importance of organizations adapting to the diverse health literacy capabilities of individuals is increasingly recognized. Addressing this need, a comprehensive review was conducted to identify, evaluate, and categorize self-assessment tools that gauge an organization’s health literacy responsiveness. The study followed the JBI Scoping Manual guidelines and meticulously searched six databases, identifying 2693 articles.

Scope and Methodology

From the initial pool, 16 studies published between 2007 and 2023 across eight countries were selected for inclusion. These studies encompassed various settings, including healthcare facilities, schools, and government departments, demonstrating the broad applicability of health literacy assessment tools. The 16 selected tools contained a total of 661 items.

Content analysis led to the classification of these items into six domains: communication, navigation of resources, culture, policies and practices, involvement or engagement, and workforce development. High inter-researcher agreement (91.5%) was achieved, underscoring the robustness of the classification process. Items that were overly context-specific, focused exclusively on service users, were too broad, or had suitable alternatives were excluded, resulting in a refined list of 210 items.

Findings and Implications

The review provided a synthesis of existing tools and highlighted a finite list of essential items that organizations can use to assess their health literacy responsiveness. This refined list serves as a foundation for developing new, context-specific assessment tools through the Delphi method, ensuring that they are tailored to the unique needs of different settings.

Key Inferences for Practitioners

– Implementing health literacy assessment tools in diverse settings is crucial for addressing varied health literacy strengths and challenges.
– The six-domain classification offers a comprehensive framework for evaluating an organization’s health literacy.
– The refined list of 210 items can guide the development of new assessment tools tailored to specific contexts.

This research marks a significant step toward enhancing organizational health literacy. By providing a thorough synthesis of current assessment tools and a refined list of essential items, it sets the stage for future development of context-specific tools, ultimately fostering better health literacy responsiveness in organizations.

Original Article: Health Promot Int. 2024 Jun 1;39(3):daae064. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daae064.

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