Health Literacy QuestionnaireHLQ logo

The Health Literacy Questionnaire is a new measure of health literacy that comprehensively captures the concept of health literacy and provides detailed information about what needs to be done to improve systems and services. It is patient-centred and was derived from extensive consultation with patients and practitioners. Modern and rigorous psychometric tests have shown that it has excellent psychometric properties. The HLQ is the property of Deakin and Monash Universities.

The grounded psychometric development and initial validation of the Health Literacy Questionnaire (paper)
Richard H Osborne, Roy Batterham, Gerald R Elsworth, Melanie Hawkins and Rachelle Buchbinder

This paper describes the conceptualisation, psychometric development and initial validation of the HLQ. The HLQ is designed to detect the health literacy needs of people in the community, and could be used for a range of purposes: from describing the health literacy of the population, through to measuring outcomes of public health and clinical interventions designed to improve health literacy. The HLQ is the starting point for the Ophelia process.


The Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) consists of 9 domains: Feeling understood and supported by healthcare providers, Having sufficient information to manage my health, Actively managing my health, Social support for health, Appraisal of health information, Ability to actively engagement with healthcare providers, Navigating the healthcare system, Ability to find good health information, Understanding health information well enough to know what to do.


The HLQ is available only through a license. To obtain a license please complete a registration form and email to Please note an administration fee of $250 AUD plus GST (if applicable) will be applied effective 1st March 2014 for the use of the HLQ. To translate the HLQ, a strict protocol must be used under license. Download the translation protocol.

The HLQ in languages other than English:

  • Afrikaans
  • Chinese
  • Czech (in development)
  • Danish (in development)
  • Dutch (in development)
  • German (in development)
  • Greek
  • Hindi (in development)
  • Italian
  • Norwegian (in development)
  • Slovakian (in development)
  • Somali (in development)
  • Spanish (in development)
  • Vietnamese

Translation of the HLQ
To translate the HLQ, a strict protocol must be used under license. The conditions under which a Translation License include:

  • Following the translation protocol precisely. If HLQ authors are not satisfied that the protocol was not followed or that the quality of the process was not to a sufficiently high standard, the application for a license will be cancelled.
  • A translation teleconference which usually takes between 4 and 6 hours, chaired by one of the authors (usually Richard Osborne), is undertaken to achieve consensus by the translation team.
  • A letter of approval is issued by Deakin University – indicating the translation has been undertaken according to protocol
  • The administrative costs and labour costs for creating a translated version are high for the administering institution and therefore a fee of AUD500 is charged.


Administering the HLQ

  • Administration time for people with range of literacy skills: paper-self report (7 to 30 minutes); oral administration by telephone or face-to-face (20 to 45 minutes)

Downloads and links:

Visit the HLQ LinkedIn website to see the latest news on the HLQ.

Back to top