Validity Testing and Cultural Adaptation of the eHealth Literacy Questionnaire (eHLQ) Among People With Chronic Diseases in Taiwan: Mixed Methods Study

Yu-Chi Chen*, Christina Cheng, Richard H Osborne, Lars Kayser, Chieh-Yu Liu, Li-Chun Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Advancements in digital technologies seek to promote health and access to services. However, people lacking abilities and confidence to use technology are likely to be left behind, leading to health disparities. In providing digital health services, health care providers need to be aware of users’ diverse electronic health (eHealth) literacy to address their particular needs and ensure equitable uptake and use of digital services. To understand such needs, an instrument that captures users’ knowledge, skills, trust, motivation, and experiences in relation to technology is required. The eHealth Literacy Questionnaire (eHLQ) is a multidimensional tool with 7 scales covering diverse dimensions of eHealth literacy. The tool was simultaneously developed in English and Danish using a grounded and validity-driven approach and has been shown to have strong psychometric properties.

This study aims to translate and culturally adapt the eHLQ for application among Mandarin-speaking people with chronic diseases in Taiwan and then undertake a rigorous set of validity-testing procedures.

The cross-cultural adaptation of the eHLQ included translation and evaluation of the translations. The measurement properties were assessed using classical test theory and item response theory (IRT) approaches. Content validity, known-group validity, and internal consistency were explored, as well as item characteristic curves (ICCs), item discrimination, and item location/difficulty.

The adapted version was reviewed, and a recommended forward translation was confirmed through consensus. The tool exhibited good content validity. A total of 420 people with 1 or more chronic diseases participated in a validity-testing survey. The eHLQ showed good internal consistency (Cronbach α=.75-.95). For known-group validity, all 7 eHLQ scales showed strong associations with education. Unidimensionality and local independence assumptions were met except for scale 2. IRT analysis showed that all items demonstrated good discrimination (range 0.27-12.15) and a good range of difficulty (range 0.59-1.67) except for 2 items in scale 7.

Using a rigorous process, the eHLQ was translated from English into a culturally appropriate tool for use in the Mandarin language. Validity testing provided evidence of satisfactory-to-strong psychometric properties of the eHLQ. The 7 scales are likely to be useful research tools for evaluating digital health interventions and for informing the development of health technology products and interventions that equitably suit diverse users’ needs.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • chronic illness
  • cultural adaptation
  • eHLQ
  • eHealth
  • eHealth literacy questionnaire
  • validation


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