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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2006 Aug;17(3):504-11.

Health literacy among English-speaking parents in a poor urban setting.

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  • 1Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.


We surveyed English-speaking parents attending an inner-city health center. Subjects read the label on a bottle of liquid medicine and 1) demonstrated how much medicine they should give, 2) stated how many times a day they should give the medicine, and 3) stated when they should give the next dose. We calculated adjusted odds ratios to test for the likelihood of incorrect medication dosing for subjects with and without demographic risk factors. Three hundred twenty six subjects participated. Overall, 252 (77%) demonstrated incorrect medication dosing. Medication dosing was more likely to be incorrect among young parents (AOR 2.45; CI 1.14, 5.26), immigrants (AOR 2.27; CI 1.04, 4.96), subjects without a high school degree (AOR 2.05; CI 1.04,4.05), and those who did not recall ever having been shown how to use a medicine dropper (AOR 1.79; CI 1.01,3.19). Implications for practice are discussed.

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