Parental Understanding of Infant Health Information: Health Literacy, Numeracy, and the Parental Health Literacy Activities Test (PHLAT).
Summary of "Parental Understanding of Infant Health Information: Health Literacy, Numeracy, and the Parental Health Literacy Activities Test (PHLAT)."
To assess parental health literacy and numeracy skills in understanding instructions for caring for young children, and to develop and validate a new parental health literacy scale, the Parental Health Literacy Activities Test (PHLAT).
Caregivers of infants (age <13 months) were recruited in a cross-sectional study at pediatric clinics at 3 academic medical centers. Literacy and numeracy skills were assessed with previously validated instruments. Parental health literacy was assessed with the new 20-item PHLAT. Psychometric analyses were performed to assess item characteristics and to generate a shortened, 10-item version (PHLAT-10).
A total of 182 caregivers were recruited. Although 99% had adequate literacy skills, only 17% had better than ninth-grade numeracy skills. Mean score on the PHLAT was 68% (standard deviation 18); for example, only 47% of caregivers could correctly describe how to mix infant formula from concentrate, and only 69% could interpret a digital thermometer to determine whether an infant had a fever. Higher performance on the PHLAT was significantly correlated (P < .001) with education, literacy skill, and numeracy level (r = 0.29, 0.38, and 0.55 respectively). Caregivers with higher PHLAT scores were also more likely to interpret age recommendations for cold medications correctly (odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval 1.02, 2.6). Internal reliability on the PHLAT was good (Kuder-Richardson coefficient of reliability = 0.76). The PHLAT-10 also demonstrated good validity and reliability.
Many parents do not understand common health information required to care for their infants. The PHLAT and PHLAT-10 have good reliability and validity and may be useful tools for identifying parents who need better communication of health-related instructions.
Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics (Ms Kumar, Drs Patterson and Rothman), and the Department of Biostatistics (Dr Choi) Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn; Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miami, Fla (Dr Sanders and Ms
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Academic pediatrics
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674532
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2010.06.007
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.
Electronic Health Records
Media that facilitate transportability of pertinent information concerning patient's illness across varied providers and geographic locations. Some versions include direct linkages to online consumer health information that is relevant to the health conditions and treatments related to a specific patient.
Encouraging consumer behaviors most likely to optimize health potentials (physical and psychosocial) through health information, preventive programs, and access to medical care.
National Health Planning Information Center (u.s.)
A center in the HEALTH RESOURCES ADMINISTRATION Division of Planning Methods and Technology which provides access to current information on health planning and resources development.
Patient Self-determination Act
The purpose of this 1990 federal act is to assure that individuals receiving health care services will be given an opportunity to participate in and direct health care decisions affecting themselves. Under this act, hospitals, health care agencies, and health maintenance organizations are responsible for developing patient information for distribution. The information must include patients' rights, advance directives, living wills, ethics committees' consultation and education functions, limited medical treatment (support/comfort care only), mental health treatment, resuscitation, restraints, surrogate decision making and transfer of care. (from JCAHO, Lexicon, 1994)
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