Health Literacy QuestionnaireHLQ logo

The Health Literacy Questionnaire is a comprehensive measure of health literacy. It captures fine detail on an individual's 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, practitioners and policymakers. 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. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:658

This paper describes the conceptualisation, psychometric development and initial validation of the HLQ. The HLQ is the starting point for the Ophelia process.

The HLQ is currently being used in over 100 projects across the world. Contexts in which it is being used include: health promotion and disease management; people with a wide range of chronic diseases; survey, evaluation, needs assessment, quality and monitoring; and in a wide range of countries across North and South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australasia.
- evaluation of mental health services
- outcomes assessment in e-health interventions
- impact of chronic disease self-management programs
- assessment of the health literacy of first health science students

The Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ) consists of 9 domains:
1. Feeling understood and supported by healthcare providers,
2. Having sufficient information to manage my health,
3. Actively managing my health,
4. Social support for health,
5. Appraisal of health information,
6. Ability to actively engagement with healthcare providers,
7. Navigating the healthcare system,
8. Ability to find good health information,
9. 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) is charged. To translate the HLQ, a strict protocol must be used under license. Download the translation protocol. Translation incurs additional fees. Under exceptional circumstances, such as specific PhD scholar projects, fees maybe reduced or waived.

The HLQ in languages other than English:

  • Afrikaans
  • Arabic
  • Bangladeshi
  • Mainland Chinese
  • Czech (in development)
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • French Canadian (in development)
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Norwegian
  • Slovakian (in development)
  • Somali
  • Spanish (Argentina)
  • Vietnamese


Translation of the HLQ

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

  • Following the translation protocol precisely. Approval will only be given when the authors satisfied that the protocol was adhered to with the utmost rigor.
  • 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.
  • A service and administrative of AUD $500 is paid in full.

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

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