What do parents know about lead poisoning? The chicago lead knowledge test

Samir Mehta, Helen Binns*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the extent of parental knowledge about lead poisoning and its prevention and to determine characteristics associated with accurate lead knowledge. Setting: Twenty-three pediatric practices and 1 family practice in Chicago, III, and its suburbs. Methods: A 24-question test regarding lead poisoning and its prevention (Chicago Lead Knowledge Test) was developed based on lead specialists' review and parental test-retest reliability. One point was assigned for each correct response. It was self- administered by a sample of 2225 parents of 0- to 6-year-old children visiting study practices. A 1-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the association of demographic descriptors with test scores. Results: Respondents had a mean age of 33 years. Ninety percent were mothers, 49% were college graduates, and 80% were home owners. Fifteen percent lived in homes built before 1950, of which 36% were remodeled or renovated during the last 6 months. Respondents' youngest children were 80% white, 10% Hispanic, 5% African American, and 5% other. Ten percent received Medicaid and 86% had other medical insurance. Thirty-four percent recalled receipt of lead information from a health care provider, and 2.4% had had a child with a blood lead level of 0.48 μmol/L (10 μg/dL) or higher. The mean Chicago Lead Knowledge Test score was 12.2 (SD, 3.7). Questions related to lead exposure were more often answered correctly than those related to prevention and diet. In the ANOVA model, those who recalled receipt of lead information from a health care provider, college graduates, respondents aged 30 years or older, Hispanic respondents, and those living in homes built before 1950 had higher scores (all ANOVA P≤.001). Conclusions: Parents do not have much knowledge of ways to prevent childhood lead poisoning. Information from a health care provider can aid parental knowledge. The Chicago Lead Knowledge Test is a new self administered tool to help evaluate lead education programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1218
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume152
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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