Development and Validation of Oral Cancer Health Literacy Tool
Keywords:Health literacy, Delphi, Oral cancer
Introduction: Oral health literacy is vital to the decision making process for screening, prevention and treatment of oral diseases. Although there are several tools available for assessing oral health literacy, there is none to assess oral cancer health literacy. Aim: To develop and validate an Oral Cancer Health Literacy Tool (OCHLT). Materials & Methods: The study was conducted in two phases- tool development and validation among the population. The Delphi method was adopted for content development of the tool. Fifteen experts were selected based on their expertise in the field, years of experience, number of specialties etc. The categories included in the tool were ‘word recognition’, ‘functional health literacy’ and ‘information methods’. A convenient sample of 140 reporting to the OPD at the Faculty of Dental Sciences, MS. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, Bangalore, India were selected. The data thus obtained was assessed for the for reliability, criterion validity and construct validity. Results: There were positive correlation between OCHLT scores and proxy measures number of years of education, satisfaction with oral health status and absence of tobacco related habits (p=0.001). The intraclass correlation coefficient of OCHLT was 0.849 and the Cronbach’s a was 0.79. This resulted in a tool consisting of 32 items. Conclusion: The final tool accounts for the multi- dimensionality of oral cancer health literacy showing acceptable psychometric properties.