Publication Date



Objective Health literacy refers to an individual's ability to seek, understand, and use health information. This paper describes the development and psychometric testing of the Health Literacy Management Scale (HeLMS). Methods Content areas were identified from a conceptual framework derived from interviews and concept mapping. Items were generated from statements from concept mapping participants. Construction (N = 333) and replication (N = 350) samples were participants in chronic disease self-management programs and emergency department attendees. Factor analysis was used to refine constructs and define psychometric properties. Results Consultations generated 8 scales each with 4–5 items: Understanding health information, Accessing GP healthcare services, Communication with health professionals, Being proactive and Using health information, Patient attitudes towards their health, Social support, and Socioeconomic considerations. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated good fit of the data with the model (RMSEA = 0.07, SRMR = 0.05, CFI = 0.97) and all domains had high internal consistency (Cronbach alpha > 0.82). Conclusion The HeLMS has acceptable psychometric properties and assesses a range of health literacy constructs important to patients when seeking, understanding and using health information within the healthcare system.


Institute for Health and Ageing

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.