Effects of a videotape to increase use of poison control centers by low-income and Spanish-speaking families: A randomized, controlled trial

Nancy R. Kelly, Lynne C. Huffman, Fernando S. Mendoza, Thomas N. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background. Poison control centers (PCCs) reduce health care costs for childhood poisonings by providing telephone advice for home management of most cases. Past research suggests that PCCs are under-utilized by low-income minority and Spanish-speaking parents because of lack of knowledge and misconceptions about the PCC. A videotape intervention was designed to address these barriers to PCC use. Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of a videotape intervention (videotape, PCC pamphlet, and PCC stickers) in improving knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and behavioral intention regarding use of the PCC in a low-income and predominantly Spanish-speaking population in Northern California. Methods. Two hundred eighty-nine parents of children <6 years of age, attending educational classes at 2 Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) clinics participated in a randomized, controlled trial. WIC classes were randomized to receive the video intervention (video group) or to attend the regularly scheduled WIC class (control group). Participants completed a baseline questionnaire and 2 to 4 weeks later, a follow-up telephone interview. Changes from baseline to posttest were compared in the treatment and control groups using analysis of variance. Results. Compared with the control group, the video group showed an increase in knowledge about the PCC's function, its hours of operation, and staff qualifications; was more likely to feel confident in speaking with and carrying out recommendations made by the PCC; was less likely to believe the PCC would report a mother for neglect; was more likely to have the correct PCC phone number posted in their homes; and when presented with several hypothetical emergency scenarios, was more likely to correctly answer that calling the PCC was the best action to take in a poisoning situation. Conclusions. This videotape intervention was highly effective in changing knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and behavioral intentions concerning the PCC within this population. As a result, use of this video may help increase use of the PCC by low-income and Spanish-speaking families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Poison control centers
  • Poison prevention
  • Videotape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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