patient activation; limited English proficiency; primary care; disparities; health literacy


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Public Health


Patient activation (the knowledge, confidence, willingness, and skills to manage one’s healthcare) and health literacy have well-established associations with health and healthcare outcomes in adults. However, little is known about parent activation on behalf of children and its relation to health literacy. Our objective was to examine relations between parent activation, health literacy, and parent-provider relationship quality. We surveyed 316 Spanish- or English-speaking parents of publicly-insured patients of a general pediatrics clinic. Surveys included the Parent-Patient Activation Measure (P-PAM), the Newest Vital Sign (NVS), and parent-provider relationship measures. We used chi-square analyses and logistic regression to explore associations stratified by survey language. Spanish-speaking parents had significantly lower levels of both parent activation and health literacy compared with English-speaking parents (p