Insights into the concept and measurement of health literacy from a study of shared decision-making in a low literacy population

Sian K Smith, Don Nutbeam, Kirsten J McCaffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the concept and measurement of health literacy in the context of shared health decision-making. It draws upon a series of qualitative and quantitative studies undertaken in the development and evaluation of a bowel cancer screening decision aid for low literacy populations. The findings indicate that different types of health literacy (functional, interactive and critical) are required in decision-making and present a set of instruments to assess and discriminate between higher level health literacy skills required for engagement in decision-making. It concludes that greater sophistication in both the definition and measurement of health literacy in research is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-22
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number8
Early online date15 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Decision Making
  • Early Detection of Cancer/methods
  • Health Literacy/classification
  • Humans
  • Vulnerable Populations/psychology

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