Online Program

Developing a novel measurement of nutrition literacy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Heather Gibbs, PhD, RD, Dietetics and Nutrition, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Karen Chapman-Novakofski, PhD, RD, Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
INTRODUCTION: While health literacy (HL) measurement has received some attention, tools for assessing HL do not adequately measure nutrition literacy (NL). NL is critical to manage many chronic disease prevention/management programs. The objective of this multi-stage research was to develop a NL-specific instrument and to determine the need for an objective measure. METHODS: Key informant interviews (n=8) yielded 5 skill/ knowledge domains specific to NL that were incorporated into the Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument (NLAI). Registered dietitians (RDs) (n=134-178) responded online (SurveyGizmo) to a 35-item survey to establish NLAI content validity. For each construct, 70% agreement in responses was necessary; 80% and 90% agreement were considered “adequate” and “good”, respectively. Comments were analyzed using content analysis. The NLAI was pilot-tested against the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM) with RDs (n=5) and their clients (n=26). Comparisons were made between RD subjective assessments, REALM and NLAI. RESULTS: RDs agreed that all NLAI sections accomplished their purpose, with “adequate” agreement (81%) on average (content validity). In the pilot, no significant correlation (r=0.378) was found between the REALM and NLAI; subjective RD assessment and NLAI did not agree 44% of the time. CONCLUSIONS: The NLAI is a face and content valid measure of NL. Lack of correlation between the REALM and the NLAI confirms that health literacy and NL are different constructs. Discrepancy between the RDs' subjective assessment and tested abilities supports the need for an objective measure. Future research is needed to estimate construct validity and reliability for the NLAI.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify constructs that are unique to nutrition literacy. Discuss proposed methods used to assess nutrition literacy constructs.

Keyword(s): Health Literacy, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary author of this dissertation research under the advisement of Karen Chapman-Novakofski while a doctoral student at the University of Illinois.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.