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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versión On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versión impresa ISSN 1025-9848

Health SA Gesondheid (Online) vol.15 no.1 Cape Town  2010




Adaptation of the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine Revised (REALM-R) to the South African context: Part 1



Zelda Wasserman; Susanna C.D Wright; Todd M. Maja

Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa





Literacy levels are increasingly important in health care because professional nurses and other health care professionals often use written health education materials as a major component in patient education. In South Africa, no current instrument is available to assess the literacy levels of patients in the primary health care setting, though several instruments have been developed and validated internationally. The purpose of this paper was to adapt and validate the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine Revised (REALM-R) to the South African context. The REALM-R is a short instrument that is designed to rapidly screen clients in the primary health care setting for low health literacy. A modified Delphi-technique was used to measure the judgement of a group of experts for the purpose of making a decision. Eight experts in the field of Nursing Science were selected purposively to obtain the most reliable consensus. Data was collected by means of a self-report whereby participants responded to a series of questions posed by the researcher. Descriptive statistics was used for analysing data. The REALM-R was adapted to the South African context to ensure that the literacy level of South African clients is measured with an appropriate instrument.

Keywords: Delphi technique; health literacy; literacy; patients; REALM-R; Tshwane


Geletterdheidsvlakke word toenemend belangrik in gesondheidsorg aangesien geregistreerde verpleegkundiges en ander gesondheidswerkers dikwels geskrewe gesondheidopvoedkundige materiaal gebruik. Op die oomblik in Suid-Afrika is daar geen geletterdheidsvlaksinstrument beskikbaar om pasiënte in primêre gesondheidsorg se geletterdheid te toets nie. Daar bestaan wel gevalideerde internasionale instrumente. Die doel van die studie was om die REALM-R, 'n internasionaal gevalideerde mediese geletterdheidsinstrument, aan te pas en te valideer om in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks gebruik te kan word. Die REALM-R is 'n kort geletterdheidsinstrument wat ontwikkel was om primêre sorg pasiênte wat moontlik lae geletterdheidsvaardigheid het, te kan sif. 'n Aangepasde Delphi-tegniek is gebruik om die oordeel van 'n groep kundiges in te win. Agt kundiges in verpleegwetenskappe is doelgerig gekies ten einde 'n betroubare ooreenkoms te verkry. Data is deur middel van self-raportering ingewin deurdat die deelnemers op vrae, gestel deur die navorser, geantwoord het. Beskrywende statistiek is gebruik om die data te ontleed. Die REALM-R is aangepas vir die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks ten einde 'n geskikte instrument beskikbaar te stel om die geletterdheidsvaardigheid van primêre sorg pasiente vinnig en akkuraat te kan meet.



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Susanna Wright
Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science
Private Bag X680
Pretoria 0001
South Africa

Received: 18 June 2009
Accepted: 03 June 2010
Published: 02 Sept. 2010

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