INTRODUCTION: Few interventions have evaluated the influence of parent health literacy (HL) status on weight-related child outcomes. This study explores how parent HL affects the reach, attendance, and retention of and outcomes in a 3-month multicomponent family-based program to treat childhood obesity (iChoose).
METHODS: This pre-post, quasiexperimental trial occurred in the Dan River Region, a federally designated medically underserved area. iChoose research protocol and intervention strategies were designed using an HL universal precautions approach. We used validated measures, standardized data collection techniques, and generalized linear mixed-effect parametric models to determine the moderation effect of parent HL on outcomes.
RESULTS: No significant difference in HL scores were found between parents who enrolled their child in the study and those who did not. Of 94 enrolled parents, 34% were low HL, 49% had an annual household income of less than $25,000, and 39% had a high school education or less. Of 101 enrolled children, 60% were black, and the mean age was 9.8 (standard deviation, 1.3) years. Children of parents with both low and high HL attended and were retained at similar rates. Likewise, parent HL status did not significantly influence improvements in effectiveness outcomes (eg, child body mass index [BMI] z scores, parent BMI, diet and physical activity behaviors, quality of life), with the exception of child video game/computer screen time; low HL decreased and high HL increased screen time (coefficient = 0.52, standard error, 0.11, P < .001).
CONCLUSION: By incorporating design features that attended to the HL needs of parents, children of parents with low HL engaged in and benefited from a family-based childhood obesity treatment program similar to children of parents with high HL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health