Past Project

Validation of a health literacy measure for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer

What was this project about?

Health literacy refers to a person’s ability to read and make sense of health-related information. This study sought to adapt a measure of health literacy for adolescents and young adults and validate the measure as to whether it can reliably assess the health literacy of a young person with a cancer diagnosis.

  • Adolescence and young adulthood is a period of change where individuals take greater responsibility for their own health and become more engaged with the healthcare system.
  • Health literacy can influence long term outcomes; high health literacy is associated with better self-reported health status and an increased amount of health-promoting behaviours.
  • Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) who have a diagnosis of cancer typically receive large amounts of complex information relating to their diagnosis that they need to comprehend and assimilate into their lives in order to navigate the cancer journey.
  • It is important for health professionals to assess AYAs health literacy, yet there are no current measures that can reliably measure this concept for AYAs living with cancer.

This study was conducted in collaboration with the University of Sydney.

  • McDonald, F. E. J., Patterson, P., Costa, D. S. J., & Shepherd, H. L. (2016). Validation of a health literacy measure for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology 5(1), 69-75. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2014.0043
For more information please contact the research team on 1800 234 007 or email researchteam@canteen.org.au