Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 1036–1038 | Cite as

A shortened instrument for literacy screening

  • Pat F. BassIIIEmail author
  • John F. Wilson
  • Charles H. Griffith
Brief Report


The Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM-R), a new 8-item instrument designed to rapidly screen patients for potential health literacy problems, was administered to 157 patients. The REALM-R was correlated with Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised (WRAT-R) (.64) and demonstrated a Cronbach’s α of 0.91. The REALM-R identified 26 of 30 persons scoring more than 1 standard deviation below the mean on the WRAT-R, corresponding to a sixth grade reading level. The REALM-R identified a substantial number of people who scored poorly on the WRAT-R, and depending on further studies of validity and reliability, may offer a practical approach to identify patients at risk for health literacy problems in a clinical setting.

Key words

health literacy screening reading level 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pat F. BassIII
    • 3
    Email author
  • John F. Wilson
    • 1
  • Charles H. Griffith
    • 2
  1. 1.the Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of KentuckyLouisville
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral ScienceUniversity of KentuckyLouisville
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineLSUHSC—ShreveportShreveport

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