Does the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) Measure What it Intends to Measure? Validation of a Dutch version of the eHEALS in Two Adult populations

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Abstract

Background: The Internet increases the availability of health information, which consequently expands the amount of skills that health care consumers must have to obtain and evaluate health information. Norman and Skinner in 2006 developed an 8-item self-report eHealth literacy scale to measure these skills: the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS). This instrument has been available only in English and there are no data on its validity.

Objectives: The objective of our study was to assess the internal consistency and the construct and predictive validity of a Dutch translation of the eHEALS in two populations.

Methods: We examined the translated scale in a sample of patients with rheumatic diseases (n = 189; study 1) and in a stratified sample of the Dutch population (n = 88; study 2). We determined Cronbach alpha coefficients and analyzed the principal components. Convergent validity was determined by studying correlations with age, education, and current (health-related) Internet use. Furthermore, in study 2 we assessed the predictive validity of the instrument by comparing scores on the eHEALS with an actual performance test.

Results: The internal consistency of the scale was sufficient: alpha = .93 in study 1 and alpha = .92 in study 2. In both studies the 8 items loaded on 1 single component (respectively 67% and 63% of variance). Correlations between eHEALS and age and education were not found. Significant, though weak, correlations were found between the eHEALS and quantity of Internet use (r = .24, P = .001 and r = .24, P = .02, respectively). Contrary to expectations, correlations between the eHEALS and successfully completed tasks on a performance test were weak and nonsignificant: r = .18 (P = .09). The t tests showed no significant differences in scores on the eHEALS between participants who scored below and above median scores of the performance test.

Conclusions: The eHEALS was assessed as unidimensional in a principal component analysis and the internal consistency of the scale was high, which makes the reliability adequate. However, findings suggest that the validity of the eHEALS instrument requires further study, since the relationship with Internet use was weak and expected relationships with age, education, and actual performance were not significant. Further research to develop a self-report instrument with high correlations with people’s actual eHealth literacy skills is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of medical internet research
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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Telemedicine
Population
Internet
Self Report
Literacy
Education
Health
Principal Component Analysis
Rheumatic Diseases
Health Education
Delivery of Health Care

Keywords

  • METIS-281369
  • IR-85157

Cite this

@article{fc14c9a9935049fca1ae87c694f54959,
title = "Does the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) Measure What it Intends to Measure?: Validation of a Dutch version of the eHEALS in Two Adult populations",
abstract = "Background: The Internet increases the availability of health information, which consequently expands the amount of skills that health care consumers must have to obtain and evaluate health information. Norman and Skinner in 2006 developed an 8-item self-report eHealth literacy scale to measure these skills: the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS). This instrument has been available only in English and there are no data on its validity.Objectives: The objective of our study was to assess the internal consistency and the construct and predictive validity of a Dutch translation of the eHEALS in two populations.Methods: We examined the translated scale in a sample of patients with rheumatic diseases (n = 189; study 1) and in a stratified sample of the Dutch population (n = 88; study 2). We determined Cronbach alpha coefficients and analyzed the principal components. Convergent validity was determined by studying correlations with age, education, and current (health-related) Internet use. Furthermore, in study 2 we assessed the predictive validity of the instrument by comparing scores on the eHEALS with an actual performance test.Results: The internal consistency of the scale was sufficient: alpha = .93 in study 1 and alpha = .92 in study 2. In both studies the 8 items loaded on 1 single component (respectively 67{\%} and 63{\%} of variance). Correlations between eHEALS and age and education were not found. Significant, though weak, correlations were found between the eHEALS and quantity of Internet use (r = .24, P = .001 and r = .24, P = .02, respectively). Contrary to expectations, correlations between the eHEALS and successfully completed tasks on a performance test were weak and nonsignificant: r = .18 (P = .09). The t tests showed no significant differences in scores on the eHEALS between participants who scored below and above median scores of the performance test.Conclusions: The eHEALS was assessed as unidimensional in a principal component analysis and the internal consistency of the scale was high, which makes the reliability adequate. However, findings suggest that the validity of the eHEALS instrument requires further study, since the relationship with Internet use was weak and expected relationships with age, education, and actual performance were not significant. Further research to develop a self-report instrument with high correlations with people’s actual eHealth literacy skills is warranted.",
keywords = "METIS-281369, IR-85157",
author = "{van der Vaart}, R. and {van Deursen}, {Alexander Johannes Aloysius Maria} and Drossaert, {Constance H.C.} and Erik Taal and {van Dijk}, {Johannes A.G.M.} and {van de Laar}, {Mart A F J}",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.2196/jmir.1840",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
journal = "Journal of medical internet research",
issn = "1439-4456",
publisher = "JMIR Publications",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Does the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) Measure What it Intends to Measure?

T2 - Validation of a Dutch version of the eHEALS in Two Adult populations

AU - van der Vaart, R.

AU - van Deursen, Alexander Johannes Aloysius Maria

AU - Drossaert, Constance H.C.

AU - Taal, Erik

AU - van Dijk, Johannes A.G.M.

AU - van de Laar, Mart A F J

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Background: The Internet increases the availability of health information, which consequently expands the amount of skills that health care consumers must have to obtain and evaluate health information. Norman and Skinner in 2006 developed an 8-item self-report eHealth literacy scale to measure these skills: the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS). This instrument has been available only in English and there are no data on its validity.Objectives: The objective of our study was to assess the internal consistency and the construct and predictive validity of a Dutch translation of the eHEALS in two populations.Methods: We examined the translated scale in a sample of patients with rheumatic diseases (n = 189; study 1) and in a stratified sample of the Dutch population (n = 88; study 2). We determined Cronbach alpha coefficients and analyzed the principal components. Convergent validity was determined by studying correlations with age, education, and current (health-related) Internet use. Furthermore, in study 2 we assessed the predictive validity of the instrument by comparing scores on the eHEALS with an actual performance test.Results: The internal consistency of the scale was sufficient: alpha = .93 in study 1 and alpha = .92 in study 2. In both studies the 8 items loaded on 1 single component (respectively 67% and 63% of variance). Correlations between eHEALS and age and education were not found. Significant, though weak, correlations were found between the eHEALS and quantity of Internet use (r = .24, P = .001 and r = .24, P = .02, respectively). Contrary to expectations, correlations between the eHEALS and successfully completed tasks on a performance test were weak and nonsignificant: r = .18 (P = .09). The t tests showed no significant differences in scores on the eHEALS between participants who scored below and above median scores of the performance test.Conclusions: The eHEALS was assessed as unidimensional in a principal component analysis and the internal consistency of the scale was high, which makes the reliability adequate. However, findings suggest that the validity of the eHEALS instrument requires further study, since the relationship with Internet use was weak and expected relationships with age, education, and actual performance were not significant. Further research to develop a self-report instrument with high correlations with people’s actual eHealth literacy skills is warranted.

AB - Background: The Internet increases the availability of health information, which consequently expands the amount of skills that health care consumers must have to obtain and evaluate health information. Norman and Skinner in 2006 developed an 8-item self-report eHealth literacy scale to measure these skills: the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS). This instrument has been available only in English and there are no data on its validity.Objectives: The objective of our study was to assess the internal consistency and the construct and predictive validity of a Dutch translation of the eHEALS in two populations.Methods: We examined the translated scale in a sample of patients with rheumatic diseases (n = 189; study 1) and in a stratified sample of the Dutch population (n = 88; study 2). We determined Cronbach alpha coefficients and analyzed the principal components. Convergent validity was determined by studying correlations with age, education, and current (health-related) Internet use. Furthermore, in study 2 we assessed the predictive validity of the instrument by comparing scores on the eHEALS with an actual performance test.Results: The internal consistency of the scale was sufficient: alpha = .93 in study 1 and alpha = .92 in study 2. In both studies the 8 items loaded on 1 single component (respectively 67% and 63% of variance). Correlations between eHEALS and age and education were not found. Significant, though weak, correlations were found between the eHEALS and quantity of Internet use (r = .24, P = .001 and r = .24, P = .02, respectively). Contrary to expectations, correlations between the eHEALS and successfully completed tasks on a performance test were weak and nonsignificant: r = .18 (P = .09). The t tests showed no significant differences in scores on the eHEALS between participants who scored below and above median scores of the performance test.Conclusions: The eHEALS was assessed as unidimensional in a principal component analysis and the internal consistency of the scale was high, which makes the reliability adequate. However, findings suggest that the validity of the eHEALS instrument requires further study, since the relationship with Internet use was weak and expected relationships with age, education, and actual performance were not significant. Further research to develop a self-report instrument with high correlations with people’s actual eHealth literacy skills is warranted.

KW - METIS-281369

KW - IR-85157

U2 - 10.2196/jmir.1840

DO - 10.2196/jmir.1840

M3 - Article

VL - 13

JO - Journal of medical internet research

JF - Journal of medical internet research

SN - 1439-4456

IS - 4

M1 - e86

ER -