Parents Health Literacy: A Key Component for Children Rehabilitation with Special Needs

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of occupational therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Science.

2 PhD student of Speech Therapy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Biostatistics, Student Research Committee, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.

4 Student of Occupational Therapy, Students Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran.

5 PhD Candidate, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background and Objective: The relationship between parent health literacy and adherence to rehabilitation in children with special needs has not been fully explored. The aim of this study was to determine the association of parent health literacy and other predicted factors with follow-up of occupational therapy (OT) and speech therapy (ST) in children with special needs between 3 and 6 years old, Hamadan city, 2020.

Materials and Methods: In this descriptive-analytical cross-sectional study, 92 parents (64 mothers and 28 fathers), who have children refering to occupational therapy and speech therapy centers, were randomly selected. Data gathering was conducted by demographic and parent health literacy questionnaires, and SPSS software version 16 all data was used to analyze data by independent t-test, ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficient at a significance level of 0.05.

Results: The mean of father and mother’s health literacy were 55.18±7.59 and 61.72 ± 13.56, respectively. A significant difference was observed in parents' health literacy, parent's gender (p = 0.019), parent’s education level (p = 0.05), and father’s occupation. Pearson’s correlation coefficient analyses showed a significant negative correlation between parental health literacy and father age (r = -.345, p < .01), maternal age (r =-.418, p < .01), and parental health literacy positively correlated with the number of OT (r = .238, p < .05) and ST Sessions (r = .468, p < .01).

Conclusion: parent's health literacy was inadequate, and level of health literacy was higher in younger and more educated mothers and significantly associated with further follow-up of rehabilitation (occupational therapy and speech therapy). It is necessary to plan educational strategies to increase the level of health literacy in parents who have children with special needs, because of these children are vulnerable population.


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