Publication Date



JMA Journal



Health literacy (HL) is a crucial indicator for health promotion and diabetes care improvement, but the available measurements are mostly in English. This study aimed to translate and validate the 14-item Health Literacy Scale (HLS-14) questionnaire from English to Vietnamese for patients with diabetes in Vietnam.


We translated HLS-14 into Vietnamese in accordance with the World Health Organization guidelines and conducted a cross-sectional survey among 571 outpatients with type 2 diabetes using the HLS-14 Vietnamese version (HLS-14 VN). The reliability and validity of the tool were assessed using Cronbach’s alpha, composite reliability (CR), average variance extracted (AVE), and maximum shared variance (MSV), and confirmatory analysis was conducted.


Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the three subscales as in the original version were 0.931, 0.810, and 0.928 for functional HL, communicative HL, and critical HL, respectively. However, AVE for critical HL was 0.488, which improved to 0.516 after the removal of one item in the communicative HL. For all subscales in the revised 13-item version (HLS-13 VN), CR was above 0.8, AVE was above 0.5, and MSV was less than AVE. Confirmatory analysis of HLS-13 VN revealed an acceptable fit with comparative fit index of 0.983, goodness-of-fit index of 0.963, and root mean squared error of approximation of 0.058.


The reliability and validity of HLS-13 VN were confirmed. The tool is suitable for use in clinical settings in Vietnam to assess multidimensional HL in patients with type 2 diabetes.


health literacy, diabetes, questionnaire design, validity, Vietnam



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