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25-03-2019 | Show and Tell | Uitgave 2/2019 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 2/2019

Parent-provider paediatric literacy communication: A curriculum for future primary care providers

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 2/2019
Tiffany Kindratt, Brittany Bernard, Jade Webb, Patti Pagels
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s40037-019-0503-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness by incorporating book delivery and anticipatory guidance into well-child visits. There is a need to train future healthcare providers in the knowledge and skills to communicate with parents/caregivers about early childhood literacy. We developed and evaluated a curriculum to improve learners’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills towards the incorporation of parent-provider literacy communication into well-child visits.


Family medicine residents (n = 30), physician assistant students (n = 36), and medical students (n = 28) participated in a curriculum consisting of service learning, online didactic training, objective structured clinical exams (OSCEs) and a debriefing session. Standardized patients (SPs; 6 months to 5 years) and standardized patient caregivers were recruited and trained. Learners were evaluated on their abilities to offer books to patients, provide anticipatory guidance, and demonstrate parent-provider communication skills. Knowledge, attitudes, and satisfaction were collected pre- and post-curriculum.


Significant increases in total knowledge were observed after completing curriculum activities (p < 0.001). All attitudes improved after training (p < 0.05). All learners (100%) recommended that caregivers talk back and forth with their 6‑ to 12-month-old babies and make eye contact. Few (18.2%) learners recommended playing games like ‘peek-a-boo’ while reading. When caregivers evaluated learners’ basic parent-provider communication skills, all reported that the learners treated them with respect and used plain language.


Our curriculum extends beyond previous studies by measuring recommended books, anticipatory guidance, and communication skills using paediatric SPs and standardized patient caregivers. Curriculum activities can be tailored to best promote parent-provider literacy communication training in other programs.
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