Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

Teaching Primary Care Providers About Parent-Provider Literacy Communication

Kindratt, T., Pagels, P., Bernard, B., Webb, J. (2018) Teaching Primary Care Providers About Parent-Provider Literacy Communication. Education for Primary Care, 29(4), 250-251.,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description

Letter to the editor regarding a pilot study.

core topic(s)

Reach Out and Read (ROR)

Population Characteristics

Medical Providers , Medical Trainees

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Anticipatory Guidance , Medical Training/Education , Provider Behaviors and Skills


We pilot-tested a curriculum to improve medical learners’ ability to incorporate paediatric literacy communication into well-child visits.


Reach Out and Read (ROR) training.

outcomes evaluated

Pediatric literacy communication during well-child visits; learner's knowledge, attitudes, and satisfaction.


Pediatric primary care.


"FM residents (n = 30), physician assistant (PA) students (n = 42) and medical students (n = 20) participated in a curriculum of: (1) online training; (2) service-learning opportunities at a local homeless shelter participating in ROR [3]; and (3) objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs) we developed to practice parent-provider literacy communication skills. Standardized patients (6 months–5 years) and standardized patient caregivers (SPCs) were recruited and trained...Stations represented children accompanied by their mother, father, grandmother and non-relative caregivers. Each learner completed two stations: (1) infants/toddlers (<2 years) and (2) pre-schoolers (2–5 years). They were evaluated on their abilities to instruct the SPC how to offer books to patients, provide anticipatory guidance and demonstrate basic communication skills. Learners’ self-perceived knowledge, attitudes and satisfaction were collected pre- and post-curriculum."

sample size

n=92 (total); n=30 (FM residents); n=42 (PA students); n=20 (medical students)


We found significant improvements in knowledge of activities which foster a child’s reading/writing skills (p = .0074) and attitudes towards assessing literacy and providing parents with anticipatory guidance (p < .0001). All learners (100%) gave at least one recommendation on age-specific reading and books during the OSCE stations. Few learners instructed SPCs to use dialogic reading skills such as pointing at objects (27.3%; ages 6–12 months) and letters in the child’s name (30.8%; ages 4–5 years). Most (63.6%; ages 2–3 years) instructed the SPC to let the SP choose which book to read and were willing to read the same book multiple times. Only 9.1% recommended nursery rhyme books as age-appropriate reading material for the youngest SP (6–12 months). Despite limitations in skills, all learners (100%) spoke slowly and used words that caregivers could understand for all age groups.


Our curriculum was effective at improving paediatric literacy knowledge and attitudes. Previous studies evaluating paediatric literacy training among FM residents [2] have had similar outcomes. Our curriculum added to this by measuring anticipatory guidance and communication skills using paediatric SPs and SPCs.


We hope to develop additional OSCE stations to include stations where the SPC has more than one child or needs language support from an interpreter... our unique population of medical learners may not be the similar to other universities.