Health literacy in pediatric otolaryngology: A scoping review

Nicole Leigh Aaronson, Catherine L. Joshua, Emily F. Boss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To review research on status and outcomes of health literacy in pediatric otolaryngology and identify opportunities for quality improvement. Methods: We performed a scoping review, adhering to methodologic standards. A combination of MeSH terms and keywords related to health literacy in otolaryngology was used to conduct a search. Relevant studies were identified using PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, and Google Scholar databases. Studies were selected for inclusion by two authors if they addressed the domains of pediatric otolaryngology as well as health literacy. Data were abstracted from each study on the number of participants, the setting, the study design, the outcome measure, the intervention used, and the overall theme. Authors identified prominent overarching themes and grouped studies accordingly. Results were then tabulated for further review and to discern implications for future practice and research. Results: Of 1046 articles identified, 20 articles were included. Studies fell into three major themes: readability of patient materials, patient recall after informed consent, and optimal patient education. Prominent findings included the following: 1. Much of the printed and electronic educational material in otolaryngology is above the recommended reading level for public health information; 2. Parents do not easily recall information provided verbally or in written form; and 3. Adding visual and multimodal components improves the success of parental education. Conclusion: Health literacy in pediatric otolaryngology may influence comprehension of educational materials and adequacy of informed consent. Future research may address whether patient health literacy affects clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Health literacy
  • Patient education
  • Pediatric otolaryngology
  • Readability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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