Nutrition education via a touchscreen: A randomized controlled trial in Latino immigrant parents of infants and toddlers


Objective: To investigate whether educational modules presented on a touchscreen computer increase immediate nutrition and feeding knowledge in low-income, Spanish-speaking Latino immigrant parents. Methods: This was a randomized controlled trial conducted in an urban pediatric clinic with a sample of low-income, Spanish-speaking Latino parents of children <3 years randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 80) and control groups (n = 80). Intervention group members viewed 5 modules on nutrition and feeding presented on an interactive platform using a touchscreen computer. Modules contained text, pictures, and audio. Content was drawn from Bright Futures Guidelines. The primary outcome was a parental total summed knowledge score based on correct responses to 19 questions related to module content. Domain-specific scores were also analyzed. Results: Intervention and control groups did not differ on demographic characteristics. Participants were of varied Latino origins, mean age was 27.5 years, 41% reported a <7th grade education, and 65% reported that they rarely/never use a computer. Compared with the control group, the intervention group had a superior mean total summed knowledge score (72.3% vs 90.8%, P <.001). Mean domain-specific summed knowledge scores were also greater in the intervention arm compared with the control for all 5 domains. These results did not differ on the basis of participant education level. 71% (n = 57) of intervention arm participants planned to change something based on what they learned from the computer program, and 80% reported that they will (n = 49) or may (n = 15) talk to their child's doctor about what they learned in the modules. Conclusions: Results of this pilot study add to the growing literature on the use of this technology for health education in low-income Latino immigrants. Despite low education levels and computer experience, findings suggest that immediate parental knowledge was enhanced supporting the need for a more rigorous evaluation of this technology and its impact on health behaviors.© Copyright 2012 by Academic Pediatric Association.

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Academic Pediatrics