Disparities in Parental Health Literacy at a Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Center

Andrew S. Kern*, Kimberly D. Watts, Karen Rychlik, Susanna A. McColley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Hispanic cystic fibrosis (CF) patients experience higher morbidity and mortality than non-Hispanic patients, even after adjustment for socioeconomic status. Reduced parental health literacy is associated with adverse child health outcomes in chronic disease, but has not been characterized in CF. Methods: Twenty-five parents of Hispanic children and 63 parents of non-Hispanic children with CF participated in the study. Health literacy was assessed using the English or Spanish version of a validated instrument according to each parent's preference. Results: Average health literacy fell in the adequate range for parents of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic CF patients, and was not significantly different between groups (p=0.17). Four parents of Hispanic CF patients (16%) demonstrated inadequate or marginal health literacy compared to zero parents of non-Hispanic CF patients (p=0.005). Conclusions: While parents of Hispanic children with CF were at higher risk for reduced health literacy, median health literacy was similar to parents of non-Hispanic patients. Low parental health literacy is therefore unlikely to affect outcomes in Hispanic children with CF strongly. Multicenter studies linked to patient outcome measures are required to confirm this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric, Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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