Health literacy of parents and carers in a regional community: A cross-sectional study

Health literacy of parents and carers in a regional community: A cross-sectional study Journal Article

International Quarterly of Community Health Education

  • Author(s): Leach, Matthew J., Nichols, Sue, Trenholm, Sven, Jones, Martin
  • Published: 2021
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
  • ISBN: 0272-684X

Abstract: Background Supporting a child?s healthy development is determined, in part, by a parent?s ability to seek, access, interpret and effectively utilize health information. This aspect of parenting draws on a set of skills referred to as health literacy. Objective To assess the level of health literacy among parents/carers in a regional South Australian community. Methods Parents/carers of primary school-aged children, residing in Whyalla, South Australia, were invited to complete the 13-item All Aspects of Health Literacy Survey. Results 155 parents/carers completed the survey (79% mothers). Most participants were English-speaking (97%), employed (62%) and had 2-3 children (62%), with 52% completing tertiary education. Median total health literacy scores were mostly in the moderate-high range (median 27, IQR 26,27), as were critical health literacy scores (median 7, IQR 6,8). Higher scores were reported for functional health literacy (median 8, IQR 7,9), communicative health literacy (median 9, IQR 8,9) and empowerment health literacy (median 4, IQR 3,5). Conclusions Our findings reveal modest levels of health literacy among a sample of parents/carers of primary school-aged children in a regional South Australian community. Further work is needed to understand the differential effect of parental health literacy on child health outcomes, and the types of strategies that may mitigate the impact of these barriers on a child's healthy development.

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Leach, Matthew J., Nichols, Sue, Trenholm, Sven, Jones, Martin, 2021, Health literacy of parents and carers in a regional community: A cross-sectional study, Journal Article, viewed 17 July 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=25470.

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