The effect of a literacy training program on family medicine residents.

Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and the Division of Community Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7105, USA.
Family medicine (Impact Factor: 0.85). 10/2004; 36(8):582-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pediatric literacy promotion programs carried out in the primary care setting, such as Reach Out and Read (ROR), have been associated with improved language skills for preschool children. Primary care physicians have frequent contact with young families and may be well situated for a literacy promotion program for both children and adults. We examined whether introducing ROR and an adult literacy intervention improves family medicine residents' literacy knowledge, attitudes, and practices.
We conducted a single group pretest/posttest evaluation design study of residents in a family medicine residency program serving low-income families. Residents completed self-administered questionnaires assessing literacy knowledge, attitudes, and practice. Then, through educational conferences, precepting, and ROR, residents were trained to assess and counsel patients about literacy. The same questionnaire was readministered 8 months later.
All 24 (100%) residents completed both the pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. Literacy knowledge mean scores increased from 74.5% to 83.1%. After the intervention, residents reported a greater sense of comfort in counseling about childhood and adult literacy. After the intervention, a greater proportion of residents reported usually or always asking about literacy milestones (30.2% to 79.2%) and parent-child reading (65.2% to 97.8%) during well-child visits.
A family literacy promotion program improved family medicine residents' self-reported literacy knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Such interventions can be incorporated into the education of family medicine residents with meaningful results.

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