March 2014

Volume 31, Issue 1

Development and psychometric validation of a Health Literacy in Dentistry scale (HeLD)

Authors: K. Jones E. Parker H. Mills D. Brennan L.M. Jamieson
doi: 10.1922/CDH_3269Jones07


Background: Oral health literacy is emerging as a new public health challenge and poor oral health literacy is increasingly seen as an important predictor of poor oral health outcomes. Within Indigenous populations, there may be benefits to research in using a culturally acceptable, internally consistent and valid instrument to assess oral health literacy. We translated a general health literacy measure, the Health Literacy Management (HeLM) scale to make a dentally relevant scale; Health Literacy in Dentistry (HeLD). Objective: This study describes the development and assessment of the reliability and validity of the HeLD in an Indigenous Australian population. Design and Methods: The 29 item HeLD scale assesses the components of oral health literacy. The reliability and validity of the seven HeLD subscales were evaluated in a convenience sample of 209 Indigenous Australians with mean age 35 years (range 17–81) and of which 139 were female. Results: The scale was supported by exploratory factor analysis and established seven distinct and internally consistent domains of oral health literacy: Communication, Access, Receptivity, Understanding, Utilisation, Support and Economic Barriers (Cronbach’s alpha=0.91). Discriminative ability was confirmed by HeLD associations with socio-demographic variables and self-reported health ratings in the expected direction. The convergent validity and predictive validity were confirmed by HeLD scores being significantly associated with toothbrush ownership, use of a toothbrush, time since last dental visit and knowledge of the effect of cordial on the teeth. Conclusions: The HeLD appears to be an internally valid and reliable instrument and can be used for measuring oral health literacy among rural Indigenous Australian adults. Key words: oral health literacy, Indigenous Australians, internal consistency, validity, scale development

£10 single article

Other articles in this issue

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Editorial - Reviews of the literature: Expected standards 2-3 £10 single article
Acknowledgement of Referees 4-4 £10 single article
Dental Public Health in Action - Developing and implementing a fluoride varnish programme for young children in Bradford, UK 5-8 £10 single article
The provision of dietary advice by dental practitioners: a review of the literature 9-14 £10 single article
Dentinal hypersensitivity: a narrative review 15-20 £10 single article
Investigation of bias related to non-return of consent for a dental epidemiological survey of caries among five-year-olds 21-26 £10 single article
Comparison of oral health among older people with and without dementia 27-31 £10 single article
Mothers’ sense of coherence and oral health related quality of life of preschool children in Udupi Taluk 32-36 £10 single article
Development and psychometric validation of a Health Literacy in Dentistry scale (HeLD) 37-43 £10 single article
Cross-cultural adaptation, validity and psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the dental satisfaction questionnaire 44-49 £10 single article
The incidence of cleft lip and palate in a Kurd population: a prospective study 50-52 £10 single article
The significance of motivation in periodontal treatment: Validity and reliability of the motivation assessment scale among patients undergoing periodontal treatment 53-56 £10 single article
Oral health behaviours and perceptions reported by Indigenous Australians living in Darwin, Northern Territory 57-61 £10 single article
Trends in the geographic distribution of dental clinics in Japan 62-64 £10 single article


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