Assessing health literacy levels of Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients in Spanish at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in the Midwest

Armando De Alba, Denise H. Britigan, Elizabeth Lyden, Patrik L Johansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objective. Evaluate health literacy levels in Spanish-speaking Hispanic adults accessing health care services in the Midwest. Methods. Cross-sectional study of patients (n = 402) at two Midwestern federally qualified health centers. The assessment tool used in this study contained the Short Assessment of Health Literacy-S. Results. A total of 36% of the participants had a low health literacy level (LHLL). Forty-five percent of males versus 31% of females demonstrated LHLL (p < .05). With respect to education level, 61% with less than a 7th grade education had LHLL compared with 17% with 7th grade education or more (p < .05). Additionally, 29% of the participants of Mexican origin had LHLL contrasted with 55% of the participants of non-Mexican origin (p < .05). Conclusions. Low levels of health literacy reported in this study are consistent with previous assessments. We observed statistically significant differences in LHLL based on gender, education level, and country of origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1726-1732
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2016



  • Federally qualified health centers
  • Health literacy
  • Midwest
  • Spanish-speaking Hispanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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