1. Nemmers, Theresa M. PT, PhD, GCFP
  2. Jorge, Milagros PT, EdD


Limited health literacy has been associated with adverse health outcomes in the older adult population. Minimizing the negative impact of limited health literacy in the rehabilitative setting is essential to achieve optimal outcomes. Clinical assessment of health literacy identifies those patients who experience limited health literacy, thus allowing for customization of the practitioner-patient interaction to address the patient's limited health literacy. To use current assessment instruments, practitioners must understand the purpose and limitations of each instrument. The purposes of this article were to (a) provide a brief background on clinical assessment of health literacy, (b) describe health literacy assessment instruments commonly used, (c) discuss the value of conducting clinical measurement of health literacy, and (d) discuss research examining the use of health literacy assessment in the clinical environment.