Health literacy and patient understanding of screening tests for aneuploidy and neural tube defects

Regina N. Cho, Beth A. Plunkett*, Michael Wolf, Charla E. Simon, William A Grobman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine if health literacy is associated with patient understanding of prenatal screening tests for fetal aneuploidy and neural tube defects. Methods: We performed a prospective observational study on a cohort of English-speaking patients receiving prenatal care in two resident-staffed ambulatory clinics. Health literacy was measured using the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine-7. Understanding of the prenatal screening tests was assessed using a modified Maternal Serum Screening Knowledge Questionnaire. Results: Over an 8-month period, 125 patients were approached, and 101 (81%) consented to the study. Thirty-eight (38%) women demonstrated low health literacy. Patients with low health literacy were more likely to demonstrate inadequate understanding when compared to those with adequate health literacy (97% versus 11%, respectively; P < 0.01). Similarly, patients with <12th grade education were more likely to have inadequate understanding when compared to patients with >12th grade education (53% versus 30%, respectively; P = 0.02). Health literacy is a more sensitive and specific predictor of inadequate understanding than education (sensitivity 84% versus 70%, respectively, P < 0.05; specificity 98% versus 47%, respectively, P < 0.05). Conclusion: Patients with low health literacy are more likely to demonstrate inadequate understanding of these prenatal screening tests than women with adequate health literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-467
Number of pages5
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2007

Keywords

  • Aneuploidy screening
  • Health literacy
  • Prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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