Assessment of health literacy and numeracy among Spanish-speaking parents of young children: Validation of the Spanish parental health literacy activities test (PHLAT Spanish)

H. Shonna Yin, Lee M. Sanders, Russell L. Rothman, Alan L. Mendelsohn, Benard P. Dreyer, Richard O. White, Joanne P. Finkle, Stefania Prendes, Eliana M. Perrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To assess the health literacy and numeracy skills of Spanish-speaking parents of young children and to validate a new Spanish language health literacy assessment for parents, the Spanish Parental Health Literacy Activities Test (PHLAT Spanish). Methods: Cross-sectional study of Spanish-speaking caregivers of young children (<30 months) enrolled at primary care clinics in 4 academic medical centers. Caregivers were administered the 10-item PHLAT in addition to validated tests of health literacy (S-TOFHLA) and numeracy (WRAT-3 Arithmetic). Psychometric analysis was used to examine item characteristics of the PHLAT-10 Spanish, to assess its correlation with sociodemographics and performance on literacy/numeracy assessments, and to generate a shorter 8-item scale (PHLAT-8). Results: Of 176 caregivers, 77% had adequate health literacy (S-TOFHLA), whereas only 0.6% had 9th grade or greater numeracy skills. Mean PHLAT-10 score was 41.6% (SD 21.1). Fewer than one-half (45.5%) were able to read a liquid antibiotic prescription label and demonstrate how much medication to administer within an oral syringe. Less than one-third (31.8%) were able to interpret a food label to determine whether it met WIC (Special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children) guidelines. Greater PHLAT-10 score was associated with greater years of education (r = 0.49), S-TOFHLA (r = 0.53), and WRAT-3 (r = 0.55) scores (P < .001). Internal reliability was good (Kuder-Richardson coefficient of reliability; KR-20 = 0.61). An 8-item scale was highly correlated with the full 10-item scale (r = 0.97, P < .001), with comparable internal reliability (KR-20 = 0.64). Conclusions: Many Spanish-speaking parents have difficulty performing health-related literacy and numeracy tasks. The Spanish PHLAT demonstrates good psychometric characteristics and may be useful for identifying parents who would benefit from receiving low-literacy child health information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • anticipatory guidance
  • health literacy
  • infants
  • parenting skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of health literacy and numeracy among Spanish-speaking parents of young children: Validation of the Spanish parental health literacy activities test (PHLAT Spanish)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this