Validation of the eHEALTH Literacy Scale (Eheals) With Military Service Members

Douglas Foote, Jarod T. Giger, Teresa D. Murray, Ethan Engelhardt, Christopher Flaherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Medical readiness of individual service members (SMs) is an integral component of operational readiness. Electronic Health (eHealth) literacy, here defined as the ability to seek out, find, evaluate, and appraise, integrate, and apply what is gained in electronic environments toward solving a health problem, is a key skill to enhance individual medical readiness. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified health literacy as an important social determinant of health. The Internet enables individuals to access information virtually anywhere, at any place, any time, which is especially beneficial for SMs who serve around the globe, often isolated from modern health care facilities. Materials and Methods: This study examined the utility of the eHealth literacy scale (eHeals) as a potentially valuable tool to assist commanders and medical teams for assessing the health literacy of SMs. The main objective of our study was to examine the validity of the three-factor eHEALS measure for an active duty sample, using confirmatory factorial analysis. Results: Our findings support the validity of the eHEALS measure of electronic health literacy among military SMs, potentially identifying a means of measuring SMs’ health literacy, and a target for intervention to increase medical readiness, well-being, and overall quality of life for individual SMs. Conclusions: The study highlights a brief 6-item assessment tool that can quickly and efficiently be added to the current validated health and well-being measures for military personnel. This brief assessment can provide a measure of knowledge, skills, and confidence regarding ehealth information leading to better-informed health care decisions in the military context. These findings are especially relevant given the military’s current emphasis on modernization and the need to put people first in order to build the overall team and improve unit effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3621-E3627
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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