Development and evaluation of the korean health literacy instrument

Soo Jin Kang, Tae Wha Lee, Michael K. Paasche-Orlow, Gwang Suk Kim, Hee Kwan Won

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to develop and validate the Korean Health Literacy Instrument, which measures the capacity to understand and use health-related information and make informed health decisions in Korean adults. In Phase 1, 33 initial items were generated to measure functional, interactive, and critical health literacy with prose, document, and numeracy tasks. These items included content from health promotion, disease management, and health navigation contexts. Content validity assessment was conducted by an expert panel, and 11 items were excluded. In Phase 2, the 22 remaining items were administered to a convenience sample of 292 adults from community and clinical settings. Exploratory factor and item difficulty and discrimination analyses were conducted and four items with low discrimination were deleted. In Phase 3, the remaining 18 items were administered to a convenience sample of 315 adults 40-64 years of age from community and clinical settings. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed to test the construct validity of the instrument. The Korean Health Literacy Instrument has a range of 0 to 18. The mean score in our validation study was 11.98. The instrument exhibited an internal consistency reliability coefficient of 0.82, and a test-retest reliability of 0.89. The instrument is suitable for screening individuals who have limited health literacy skills. Future studies are needed to further define the psychometric properties and predictive validity of the Korean Health Literacy Instrument.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-266
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 25

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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