BACKGROUND:: Health literacy enables effective communication, participation, and cooperation with clinicians of patients with breast cancer in healthcare processes. The European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire (HLS-EU-Q) comprehensively assesses multiple conceptual domains of health literacy in a diverse range of health contexts. However, the HLS-EU-Q has not been validated in women with breast cancer. OBJECTIVES:: We examined the psychometric properties, particularly the factorial validity, of the HLS-EU-Q in women with breast cancer. METHODS:: We performed a first-order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to verify the 12-subdomain model of the 47-item HLS-EU-Q. A second-order CFA was conducted to investigate whether the 12 subdomains reflected the 3 domains of healthcare, disease prevention, and health promotion correspondingly. RESULTS:: A total of 475 women with breast cancer participated in this study. The first-order CFA fitted with the HLS-EU-Q containing 47 items. However, item 29, with a low factor loading (−0.05), was deleted. The modified first-order CFA adequately fitted the data of the HLS-EU-Q with 46 items. The second-order CFA model acceptably fitted with the data, but the 3 domains with high correlations (0.92–1.00) were merged into a single domain, health literacy. CONCLUSIONS:: Our results supported the factorial validity of the 12-subdomain HLS-EU-Q with 46 items in women with breast cancer. It is recommended that the 12 subdomain scores be summed up to represent overall health literacy. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:: The HLS-EU-Q with 46 items is recommended for use in capturing the diverse health literacy competencies of women with breast cancer in different health contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E40-E48
JournalCancer Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Health literacy
  • Outcome and process assessment
  • Psychometrics
  • Validation studies as topic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Oncology


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