Introduction: The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility, utility, and validity of using the Newest Vital Sign (NVS) tool to assess health literacy in children. Method: Forty-seven parent-child dyads individually completed the NVS and a Home Literacy Environment single-item screening question (No. of children's books in the home). Results: The majority (72%; n = 34) of parent-child dyads had adequate health literacy (NVS scores ≥4), with no significant differences (p = .95) between children's NVS scores (M = 4.8, SD = 1.5) and parents (M = 4.8, SD = 1.6). A moderate, positive correlation was found between children's and parents' NVS scores (rs = .35, p = .017). Of note was that all of the parents (n = 4) and children (n = 6) who reported having only 10 or fewer children's books in their homes had NVS scores less than 4, indicating inadequate health literacy. Discussion: The NVS is a quick screening mechanism for identifying households that have adequate health literacy levels. Asking children the Home Literacy Environment single-question screening item (No. of children's books) provided additional insight that confirmed and extended findings from the NVS.
- Health literacy
- Newest vital sign
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health