Evid Based Nurs 1:29 doi:10.1136/ebn.1.1.29
  • Qualitative

A conceptual model described how adults responded to a simulated literacy assessment


To understand how adults with low literacy skills experienced an assessment of their reading ability.


Multiple case study design with purposeful sampling, resulting in a conceptual model.


Community college in Ontario, Canada.


8 volunteers (age range 21–55 y, mean age 35.6; 50% men) with a range of literacy skills were recruited from a community college literacy programme through self referral or referral by teachers or peers. Inclusion criteria were ability to speak English fluently, recent experience as a patient in hospital, and low literacy based on placement in a literacy programme.


Data were collected through semistructured interviews and participant observation before, during, and after a simulated literacy screening experience which used a nurse administered tool—the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Non-verbal responses …

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