Integrating Health Literacy Questions into a Statewide Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Questionnaire
Keywords:health literacy, behavioral risk factor surveillance system
Objectives. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of adding health literacy questions to a state health assessment questionnaire. Methods. Researchers conducted a series of telephone interviews (N = 20) to test the telephone administration of three health literacy screening questions with a convenience sample. Feedback obtained during the telephone interviews was used to revise the questions for clarity. The revised questions were proposed as an addition to the Kansas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Results. Pilot data included minor modifications to the language of the questions to broaden their interpretation outside of a hospital setting. Most participants (90%, n = 18) had adequate health literacy. The proposed questions were approved for addition to the BRFSS questionnaire. Prompts were added to a telephone script to aid BRFSS survey administrators. Conclusion. As one of the first statewide health literacy assessments, this study has demonstrated one method for collecting baseline data. This new methodology has the potential to impact both patient care and broad public health efforts.
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