TABLE 3

Percentage of Parents Who Were Incorrect on Selected Health Literacy–Assessment Tasks

TaskCategory% Incorrect95% CI
Health insurance
    Enter names and birth dates in a health insurance form.Document68.4a,b65.0–71.8
    Check the correct box to indicate which person is applying for health insurance.Document38.1a34.1–42.1
    Check the correct box to indicate gender, marital status, if the person is a student, and what the person's relationship to you is.Document34.9a31.4–38.4
    Enter social security numbers into a health insurance application.Document11.2a9.0–13.4
    Calculate the price per year of an insurance policy using a table that shows how the monthly cost varies based on income and family size.Quantitative65.9a61.6–70.2
Medication
    Underline the 3 substances that may interact with an over-the-counter drug to cause a side effect, using information on the over-the-counter drug label.Document23.1a20.0–26.2
    Determine what time a person can take a prescription medication, based on information on the prescription drug label that relates the timing of medication to eating.Quantitative36.3a,c33.0–39.6
Nutrition/obesity
    List 3 health risks associated with being overweight or obese.Prose8.2a,d6.3–10.1
    Determine a healthy weight range for a person who is 5 foot 5 inches, based on a graph that relates height and weight to BMI.Document54.1a49.9–58.3
    Determine how a person who is 5 foot 8 inches and weighs 175 pounds is categorized.Document13.1a10.8–15.4
Immunization
    Determine when children should receive their third hepatitis B vaccination, using a chart that shows all the childhood vaccines and the ages children should receive them.Document39.9a36.0–43.8
    Determine how many polio vaccinations a child should have by a certain age.Document26.6a22.9–30.3
Navigation
    Circle the date of an appointment on a hospital appointment slip.Document5.1e4.2–6.0
  • a Percentage incorrect of subset of sample administered health literacy–assessment task.

  • b Percentage considered incorrect (3.2% marked incorrect, 60.1% partially correct, 5.2% omitted).

  • c Percentage considered incorrect (21.9% marked incorrect, 12.8% partially correct, 1.6% omitted).

  • d Percentage considered incorrect (2.2% marked incorrect, 3.4% partially correct, 2.6% omitted).

  • e Percentage incorrect of the entire sample (task part of the subset of health literacy–assessment tasks administered to the entire sample).