Parental health literacy in pediatric otolaryngology: A pilot study

Nicole Leigh Aaronson, Courtney T. Cox, Emily F. Boss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Pediatric otolaryngology bears the highest frequency of elective surgical cases in children, but little is known regarding the health literacy of these children's parents. In a questionnaire-based pilot study, we assessed parental health literacy in our pediatric otolaryngology clinic and evaluated its relation to personal demographics. We also evaluated postoperative and diagnosis-based leaflets for readability using validated measures. Methods: Parents completed the Short Assessment of Health Literacy-English (SAHL-E) and were defined as low (0–14) or high (>14) literacy based on mean scores. Results: Fifty parents participated (mean SAHL-E score, 17.6), and all scored >14, indicating proficient health literacy. No differences existed in mean or median scores based on demographics. Continued education after high school was associated with higher scores (P = 0.003) and was the only significant variable in multivariable linear regression. All leaflets were at or below the recommended reading level for public health information. Conclusions: Parents generally had high health literacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-91
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Health literacy
  • Informed consent
  • Parents
  • Patient education
  • Pediatric otolaryngology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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