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Research In Health Disparities

Developing Measures of Parental Knowledge in Physical Activity

Parental knowledge of child health and development issues can have important effects on child health. Greater awareness of the content areas in which parents require more guidance can help clinicians devise parent-centered strategies to reduce identified knowledge deficits and may both increase the quality of care and reduce disparities in child health. The primary goal of this pilot project is to develop a set of parental health knowledge assessment questions relevant to physical activity in children 5 years or younger and to conduct preliminary reliability and validity studies of these questions.

Principal Investigator: Kitty Chan, PhD

Co-Investigators: Terry Kind, MPH (Children's National Medical Center and Bright Futures Program Staff from Georgetown University)

Consultants: John Richards, MA, AITP, Jeanne Anastasi, MA, and Eileen Clark

Parental knowledge of child health and development issues can have important effects on child health. Greater awareness of the content areas that parents need more guidance on can help clinicians devise parent-centered strategies to reduce identified knowledge deficits and may both increase the quality of care and reduce disparities in child health. For example, clinicians who are provided with a profile of the knowledge strengths and deficits for a particular parent can use their limited encounter time most efficiently to counsel the parent in areas where they have limited knowledge. This pilot project will initiate the development of the first domain (physical activity).

The primary goal of this pilot project is to develop a set of parental health knowledge assessment questions relevant to physical activity in children 5 years or younger and to conduct preliminary reliability and validity studies of these questions.

The development of the knowledge questions will be guided by Bright Future’s framework for the provision of pediatric health service and anticipatory guidance. The investigators will collate existing items, develop new items, and determine which items are to be included in these modules with the assistance of an expert advisory panel. Candidate items will undergo cognitive testing with 30 parents. Data on responses from 175 parents will be used to examine item performance, using both classical and item response theory methods. Based on these preliminary findings, items will be selected for inclusion in short paper- and-pencil instruments as well as the item pool(s) for the development of innovative computerized adaptive tests.