Health literacy and caregiver understanding in the CHD population

Megan E. Rodts, Ndidi I. Unaka, Christopher J. Statile, Nicolas L. Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: CHD is the most common birth defect type, with one-fourth of patients requiring intervention in the first year of life. Caregiver understanding of CHD may vary. Health literacy may be one factor contributing to this variability. Methods: The study occurred at a large, free-standing children's hospital. Recruitment occurred at a free-of-charge CHD camp and during outpatient cardiology follow-up visits. The study team revised the CHD Guided Questions Tool from an eighth- to a sixth-grade reading level. Caregivers of children with CHD completed the Newest Vital Sign health literacy screen and demographic surveys. Health literacy was categorised as high (Newest Vital Sign score 4-6) or low (score 0-3). Caregivers were randomised to read either the original or revised Guided Questions Tool and completed a validated survey measuring understandability and actionability of the Guided Questions Tool. Understandability and actionability data analysis used two-sample t-testing, and within demographic group differences in these parameters were assessed via one-way analysis of variance. Results: Eighty-two caregivers participated who were largely well educated with a high income. The majority (79.3%) of participants scored high for health literacy. No differences in understanding (p = 0.43) or actionability (p = 0.11) of the original and revised Guided Questions Tool were noted. There were no socio-economic-based differences in understandability or actionability (p > 0.05). There was a trend towards improved understanding of the revised tool (p = 0.06). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that readability of the Guided Questions Tool could be improved. Future work is needed to expand the study population and further understand health literacy's impact on the CHD community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1444
Number of pages6
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • CHD
  • Health literacy
  • patient and family education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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