© 2017

Health Literacy and Child Health Outcomes

Promoting Effective Health Communication Strategies to Improve Quality of Care

  • Rosina Avila Connelly
  • Teri Turner

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Public Health book series (BRIEFSPUBLIC)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs in Child Health book sub series (BRIEFSCHILD)

About this book


This compact resource presents current data on health literacy as it affects child health outcomes, with a sharp focus on improving communication between healthcare providers and pediatric patients and their families. A frequently overlooked social determinant of health in children, health literacy is shown as a critical skill for patients and families and a key aspect of patient engagement. The authors’ evidence-based survey pinpoints common problems in healthcare providers’ verbal and written communication with pediatric patients, their parents, and/or caregivers.  Readers will learn about practical health literacy strategies for addressing and preventing miscommunication at the individual and systems levels. These improvements are linked to immediate results (e.g., greater compliance, fewer medication errors) as well as improved long-term child health outcomes, including reduced health disparities and enhanced quality of life into adulthood.

This transformative guide:                                                                                                                                         

  • Defines optimum health communication as necessary for working with all patients.
  • Identifies common barriers to clear  health communication.
  • Traces the relationship between health literacy and child health outcomes, from the prenatal period and into young adulthood.
  • Offers guidelines for creating effective patient education materials and a safe, health literacy oriented patient-centered environment.
  • Integrates health literacy into health systems’ quality improvement plans.

Health Literacy and Child Health Outcomes informs students in MPH programs as well as public health scientists and scholars, and can also serve as an introductory text for students in public health ethics or a general applied ethics course. Public health professionals in diverse contexts such as local health departments and nonprofit organizations will appreciate its robust approach to ethical practice, professional development, and systems improvement. This will be a helpful guide for introducing health communication topics in medical education and allied health. Lastly, clinicians taking care of pediatric patients will find concise information and practical advice to apply in the clinical setting.


Health Literacy Health Communications Doctor-Patient Communication Teach Back Patient Education Medical Errors Doctor-Patient Relationships Patient Safety Patient Counseling Health Policy Child Health Outcomes Patient Management Child and Adolescent Health Medication Errors Health Care Quality Patient Satisfaction Medical Education Quality Improvement

Editors and affiliations

  • Rosina Avila Connelly
    • 1
  • Teri Turner
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Division of General PediatricsUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsBaylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s HospitalHoustonUSA

About the editors

Rosina Avila Connelly, MD, MPH, is an associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, Alabama. Connelly also is a physician leader of Outpatient General Pediatrics at the Children's Medical Center and a member of the Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction Committee at the USA Children's and Women's Hospital, both of which are affiliated with the University of South Alabama Health System.

Teri Turner, MD, MPH, is associate professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Turner also is associate director of house staff education, director of the Academic General Pediatrics Fellowship, and Director of the Center for Research, Innovation, and Scholarship.

Bibliographic information