How long does it take to assess literacy skills in clinical practice?

Kristen Johnson, Barry D. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Health literacy screening is often not performed in clinical settings. One possible reason is the concern about the time involved in performing such assessments. Our objective was to measure the time required to administer the Newest Vital Sign (NVS) literacy assessment instrument to Englishspeaking primary care patients. Methods: The NVS was administered to 78 consecutive English-speaking patients in an outpatient primary care clinic. The length of time to complete the NVS was timed with a stopwatch. Results: The average time to complete the NVS was 2.9 minutes (95% confidence limit, 2.6-3.1 min). Conclusion: The NVS is a health literacy screening tool of sufficient brevity to be considered for use in primary care practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-214
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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