Health literacy among hispanics: A systematic research review (1992-2008)

Alexis Koskan, Daniela B. Friedman, Deanne K. Hilfinger Messias

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This study is a comprehensive systematic review of research on health literacy (HL) among U.S. Hispanics. Twenty-eight studies published between 1992 and 2008 were examined for focus, HL definitions, and HL measurement tools. Findings revealed that Spanish-speaking, less educated, and foreign-born Hispanics had the lower levels of HL. The health issues that more often affect Hispanics are diabetes, heart disease, and obesity-related health conditions; however, the most prominent health topics addressed in the articles were HIV, cancer, and diabetes. Researchers did not always define HL and literacy. A variety of HL measures were employed; Spanish-language instruments were rarely used. Implications include the need for conceptual consistency in defining HL, the use of linguistically and culturally sensitive HL assessment tools, and further research on prevalent Hispanic health concerns and differences among diverse Hispanic subpopulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalHispanic Health Care International
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Health literacy
  • Hispanics
  • Literacy
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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