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Public Health


Loretta Cain


Low or marginal health literacy affect nearly 90 million citizens in the United States, compromising health outcomes, including oral health. Oral health literacy has been studied in diverse populations, yet the assessments used were developed and validated for English-speaking populations. A validated Spanish-language oral health literacy assessment was needed to help researchers and practitioners evaluate oral health literacy in the Hispanic population. Using the oral health literacy framework, the purpose of this study was to translate, culturally adapt, and validate a Spanish version of a previously validated English-language oral health literacy. A translation-back-translation process was applied to the English version of the REALD-30. Face and content validity were established using a panel of dental and health literacy experts. The Spanish version was field tested among Spanish-speaking community health center patients (N=114), and included a random subsample (N=11) to check for test-retest reliability. The results showed that the Spanish REALD-30 has a good internal reliability (=r=.687) and an acceptable convergent reliability (r =.857), when assessing health literacy against the SAHLSA-50. This study's implications for positive social change include providing the dental profession and research community with an assessment tool for oral health literacy. This tool may allow oral health professionals to understand the dynamics and challenges among Hispanics regarding oral health literacy, while the study fills an existing gap in scholarly literature.