Internal consistency of the spanish health literacy test (TOFHLA-SPR) for Puerto Rico

Marta Rivero-Méndez, Erick Suárez, Solymar S. Solís-Báez, Gloryvee Hernández, Wanda Cordero, Irma Vázquez, Zullettevy Medina, Raisa Padilla, Aida Flores, José Luis Bonilla, William L. Holzemer

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13 Scopus citations


Background: Low functional health literacy has been related to poor viral control, and lower levels of ART adherence in people living with HIV/AIDS. Research in functional health literacy among people living with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico (PR) is an unexplored area. The purpose of this paper is to describe how the full-length Spanish Version of the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA-S) scale was adapted to PR. Methods: Thirty participants (women = 16, men = 14) completed a basic demographic questionnaire, the TOFHLA-S and participated in an interview. Analyses were performed to examine the information provided by participants and the internal consistency of the TOFHLA-S. Results: The mean age was 47.7 years (range 34-77). Thirty-seven percent had less than 12 years of formal schooling and 43% reported having education above high school. Changes suggested by participants included: increasing font size from 14 to 16 points for better readability and changes/simplification of several words in order to make them colloquial and comprehensible for the PR context. The reliability coefficient obtained for this scale was strong (estimated alpha = 0.95) however, differences were observed by subtype: numeracy (estimated alphanum =.819 vs. comprehension (estimated alpha =. 953). Conclusions: Based on this process, we have adapted the original version of the TOFHLA-S and the new version of the full-length TOFHLA-S, PR is now valid for further research and testing levels of functional health literacy in a larger sample in PR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalPuerto Rico Health Sciences Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • Internal consistency
  • Puerto rico


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