Development and validation of the assessment of health literacy in breast and cervical cancer screening

Hae Ra Han, Boyun Huh, Miyong T. Kim, Jiyun Kim, Tam Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


For many people limited health literacy is a major barrier to effective preventive health behavior such as cancer screening, yet a comprehensive health literacy measure that is specific to breast and cervical cancer screening is not readily available. The purpose of this article is to describe the development and testing of a new instrument to measure health literacy in the context of breast and cervical cancer screening, the Assessment of Health Literacy in Cancer Screening (AHL-C). The AHL-C is based on Baker's conceptualization of health literacy and modeled from the two most popular health literacy tests, the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine and the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. The AHL-C consists of four subscales; print literacy, numeracy, comprehension, and familiarity. We used baseline data from 560 Korean American immigrant women who participated in a community-based randomized trial designed to test the effect of a health literacy-focused intervention to promote breast and cervical cancer screening. Rigorous psychometric testing supports that the AHL-C is reliable, valid, and significantly correlated with theoretically selected variables. Future research is needed to test the utility of the AHL-C in predicting cancer screening outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-284
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of health communication
StatePublished - Oct 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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