Testing the feasibility of an interactive learning styles measure for U.S. Latino adults with type 2 diabetes and low literacy

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Diet; Educational Status; Feasibility Studies; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; *Hispanic Americans; Humans; *Learning; Middle Aged; Patient Education as Topic; United States


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


This study designed and piloted an interactive measure to assess learning preferences of Latinos in the United States with diabetes and limited literacy. The measure utilized interactive learning activities to represent four learning styles: visual (seeing), kinesthetic (doing), affective (feeling/sensing), and cognitive (thinking), targeting four diabetes self-management behaviors: choosing healthy foods; understanding portion sizes; distinguishing foods to eat often/sometimes/rarely; and limiting fat. Quantitative data were collected using the Spanish Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA). Individual, structured cognitive interview questions asked participants to identify learning activities that most reflected their own experience with diabetes. Participant observations provided additional qualitative data. Ten Spanish-speaking adults with type 2 diabetes and limited literacy participated in two randomly selected target behaviors and identified easiest and most difficult to understand learning activities. S-TOFHLA scores ranged from 0 to 21 points (mean 7.0) and identified eight participants with inadequate and two with marginal health literacy. Easiest to understand tasks were kinesthetic, most difficult to understand tasks were cognitive. This is one of the first known studies of its kind and offers insight for measuring learning styles of Latinos with diabetes and low health literacy.

DOI of Published Version



Int Q Community Health Educ. 2005-2006;25(4):315-35. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International quarterly of community health education

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID