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New York City, PA, United States

Alur P.,WellSpan Health Pediatrics | Cirelli J.,WellSpan Health Pediatrics | Goodstein M.,WellSpan Health Pediatrics | Bell T.,WellSpan Health Pediatrics | Liss J.,WellSpan Health Pediatrics
Applied Clinical Informatics | Year: 2010

Background Health literacy is critical for understanding complex medical problems and necessary for the well being of the patient. Printed educational materials (PM) have limitations in explaining the dynamics of a disease process. Multimedia formats may be useful for enhancing the educational process. Objective: To evaluate whether a printed format or animation with commentary on a handheld personal computer (PC) is preferred as an educational tool by parents of a baby in the NICU. Methods: Parents evaluated two formats: A 1-page illustrated document from the American Heart Association explaining patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and animation with commentary on a handheld PC that explained the physiology of PDA in 1 minute. The reading grade level of the PM was 8.6 versus 18.6 for the audio portion of the animated presentation. Parents viewed each format and completed a four-item questionnaire. Parents rated both formats and indicated their preference as printed animation or both. Results: Forty-six parents participated in the survey. Parents preferred animation over PM (50% vs. 17.4%. p = 0.02); 39.1% expressed that the animation was excellent; whereas 4.3% expressed that the PM was excellent (p<0.001). The order of presentation of formats sex age and educational level of parents did not influence the method preferred (p>0.05). Conclusion: Parents preferred animation on a small screen handheld PC despite a much higher language level. Because handheld PCs are portable and inexpensive they can be used effectively at the bedside with low-cost animation to enhance understanding of complex disease conditions. © Schattauer 2010.

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