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Acad Pediatr. 2012 Sep-Oct;12(5):412-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2012.03.020. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Nutrition education via a touchscreen: a randomized controlled trial in Latino immigrant parents of infants and toddlers.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.



To investigate whether educational modules presented on a touchscreen computer increase immediate nutrition and feeding knowledge in low-income, Spanish-speaking Latino immigrant parents.


This was a randomized controlled trial conducted in an urban pediatric clinic with a sample of low-income, Spanish-speaking Latino parents of children <3 years randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 80) and control groups (n = 80). Intervention group members viewed 5 modules on nutrition and feeding presented on an interactive platform using a touchscreen computer. Modules contained text, pictures, and audio. Content was drawn from Bright Futures Guidelines. The primary outcome was a parental total summed knowledge score based on correct responses to 19 questions related to module content. Domain-specific scores were also analyzed.


Intervention and control groups did not differ on demographic characteristics. Participants were of varied Latino origins, mean age was 27.5 years, 41% reported a <7th grade education, and 65% reported that they rarely/never use a computer. Compared with the control group, the intervention group had a superior mean total summed knowledge score (72.3% vs 90.8%, P < .001). Mean domain-specific summed knowledge scores were also greater in the intervention arm compared with the control for all 5 domains. These results did not differ on the basis of participant education level. 71% (n = 57) of intervention arm participants planned to change something based on what they learned from the computer program, and 80% reported that they will (n = 49) or may (n = 15) talk to their child's doctor about what they learned in the modules.


Results of this pilot study add to the growing literature on the use of this technology for health education in low-income Latino immigrants. Despite low education levels and computer experience, findings suggest that immediate parental knowledge was enhanced supporting the need for a more rigorous evaluation of this technology and its impact on health behaviors.

Copyright © 2012 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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