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A shortened instrument for literacy screening

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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.

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Correspondence to Pat F. Bass III MD, MS.

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Bass, P.F., Wilson, J.F. & Griffith, C.H. A shortened instrument for literacy screening. J GEN INTERN MED 18, 1036–1038 (2003).

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