A systematic review of digital health literacy among parents

The Centre’s first systematic review for was published in December 2021 in collaboration with Edith Cowan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery. The paper was co-authored by Professor Lisa Whitehead and Associate Professor Diana Arabiat with Edith Cowan University colleagues Professor Evalotte Mörelius and Suzanne Robinson.

We sought to examine the effect of digital health interventions on health literacy among parents of children aged 0-12 years with a health condition. This included evaluating parents’ engagement (use and satisfaction) with digital health interventions, the effect of these interventions on parental health knowledge and health behaviour and the subsequent impact on child health outcomes.

The review was developed to inform the team’s knowledge of the important issue of health literacy among parents. We know that the health literacy of parents is associated with child health outcomes and that parents often use the internet to obtain health information. A number of interventions to improve health literacy among parents have been developed but no systematic evaluation of the effectiveness of these exists.

Five studies were included in the review. All were quantitative in design and included digital health interventions using web-based portals to improve parents’ health knowledge and health behaviour. Parental satisfaction was assessed in three, all reporting high levels of satisfaction with the digital intervention. All studies reported improvement in parental health literacy postintervention and this was related to either an increase in disease-specific knowledge or changes in health behaviour. Only one study included child health outcomes, and this study reported significant improvements related to increased parental health knowledge.

In response to a pandemic such as COVID-19, there is an increased need for evidence-based digital health interventions for families of children living with health conditions. This review has shown the potential of digital health interventions to improve health knowledge and behaviour among parents of young children with a health condition. However, few digital health interventions have been developed and evaluated for this population. Future studies with robust research designs are needed with attention to the potential benefits of increased parental health literacy for the child.

Mörelius E, Robinson S, Arabiat D, Whitehead L
Digital Interventions to Improve Health Literacy Among Parents of Children Aged 0 to 12 Years With a Health Condition: Systematic Review
Journal of Medical Internet Research 2021;23(12):e31665
doi: 10.2196/31665
PMID: 34941559
(Open access)

Additional Centre member publication highlights

Books and book chapters

Green, L., Holloway, D., Stevenson, K., Leaver, T., & Haddon, L. (2021). The Routledge Companion to Digital Media and Children. Taylor & Francis.

Abidin, C. (2021). Pre-school Stars on YouTube: Child Microcelebrities, Commercially Viable Biographies, and Interactions with Technology
Alicia, A., & Smith, S. (2021). Digital Media and Sleep in Children
Green, L. (2021). Digital Citizenship in Domestic Contexts
Holloway, D., & Donkin, A. (2021). Parenting Pedagogies in the Marketing of Children’s Apps
Houen, S., Danby, S., & Miller, P. (2021). Siblings Accomplishing Tasks Together: Solicited and Unsolicited Assistance when Using Digital Technology
Leaver, T. (2021). Balancing Privacy: Sharenting, Intimate Surveillance and the Right to be Forgotten
Livingstone, S., Third, A., & Lansdown, G. (2021)
. Children’s Rights in the Digital Environment: A Challenging Terrain for Evidence-Based Policy
Staksrud, E. (2021). Sexual Images, Risk and Perception Among Youth – A Nordic Example
Stevenson, K.J
. (2021). Young children’s creativity in digital possibility spaces: What might posthumanism reveal?
Willett, R., & Richards, C. (2021). Methodological Issues in Researching Children and Digital Media.
Zaman, B., Nouwen, M., & Van Leeuwen, K. (2021). Challenging Adolescents’ Autonomy: An Affordances Perspective on Parental Tools

Holloway, D., Willson, M., Murcia, K., Archer, C., & Stocco, F. (2021). Young Children’s Rights in a Digital World: Play, Design and Practice (Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research, 23) (1st ed. 2021 ed.). Springer.

Murcia, K. (2021). Young Children Learning to Code: A Digital Technologies Framework for the Early Years
Stevenson, K.J
., Green, L., Holloway, D., Jaunzems, K. (2021). Screening Language Acquisition Skills in a Mediated Childhood
Catherine, A., & Leaver, T. (2021). Santa’s Little Helper and Star of Instagram, Elf on the Shelf: Gendered Labour, Normalising Surveillance and Digitising a Childhood Phenomenon

Mascheroni, G., Siibak, A., & Jones, S. (2021). Datafied Childhoods; Data Practices and Imaginaries in Children’s Lives (Digital Formations, 124) (New ed.). Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers.

Paatsch, L., Oughtred, C., & Cloonan, A. (2021) Experiencing Literature in Virtual Reality. In Moran, C. M., Rice (Eds.), Virtual and Augmented Reality in English Language Arts Education. Lexington Books.

Pangrazio, L., & Selwyn, N. (2021). Young people’s understandings of social media data. In S. Gennaro & B. Miller (Eds.), Young People and Social Media. Wilmington, DE.

Journal articles

Apps, T., Agostinho, S., & Bennett, S. (2021). ‘Maybe it’s the environment you grow up in?’ Australian primary school students’ reflections on their school-based digital literacy. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/1475939x.2021.1973550

Barratt-Pugh, C., Barblett, L., Knaus, M., Cahill, R., Hill, S., & Cooper, T. (2021). Supporting Parents as their Child’s First Teacher: Aboriginal Parents’ Perceptions of KindiLink. Early Childhood Education Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-021-01221-1

Barratt-Pugh, C., Sparrow, H., & Allen, N. (2021). Identifying Key Factors in Library–School Partnerships to Deliver a Family Literacy Programme in Western Australia. Libri, 71(4), 407–418. https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2020-0091

Edwards, S. (2021). Cyber-safety and COVID-19 in the early years: A research agenda. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 19(3), 396–410. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718×211014908

Gonzalez, A., & Pangrazio, L. (2021). El currículum argentino de Educación digital: un análisis de la dimensión “crítica” de las competencias digitales. Praxis Educativa (Argentina), 25(1), 1-23.

Green, L., Stevenson, K.J., & Allmark, P. (2021), Disadvantaged Children’s CreativeVisualisation of Possible Futures. In (Ed.) J.Lane, Tracing behind the image: Aninterdisciplinary exploration of visual literacy (pp.116-133) Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

Hood, R., Zabatiero, J., Zubrick, S. R., Silva, D., & Straker, L. (2021). The association of mobile touch screen device use with parent-child attachment: a systematic review. Ergonomics, 64(12), 1606–1622. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2021.1948617

Kervin, L., & Comber, B. (2021). Digital writing from the start to the end: Creating a book for a friend. Theory Into Practice, 60(2), 137–147. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2020.1857142

Kirk, G., & Barblett, L. (2021). Implementing the National Quality Standard in schools: leadership that motivates improvement initiatives through psychological ownership. The Australian Educational Researcher, 49(2), 367–385. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-021-00446-8

McNeill, J., Howard, S. J., Vella, S. A., & Cliff, D.P. (2021). Cross-Sectional Associations of Application Use and Media Program Viewing with Cognitive and Psychosocial Development in Preschoolers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4), 1608. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041608

Mörelius, E., Robinson, S., Arabiat, D., & Whitehead, L. (2021). Digital Interventions to Improve Health Literacy Among Parents of Children Aged 0 to 12 Years With a Health Condition: Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(12), e31665. https://doi.org/10.2196/31665

Pangrazio, L., & Cardozo-Gaibisso, L. (2021). “Your data can go to anyone”: The challenges of developing critical data literacies in children. In J. Avila (Ed.), Critical Digital Literacies: Boundary-Crossing Practices. Boston, MA: Brill Publishing.

Pangrazio, L., & Sefton-Green, J. (2021). Digital Rights, Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy: What’s the Difference? Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 10(1), 15. https://doi.org/10.7821/naer.2021.1.616

Pila, S., Lauricella, A. R., Piper, A. M., & Wartella, E. (2021). The power of parent attitudes: Examination of parent attitudes toward traditional and emerging technology. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies, 3(4), 540–551. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbe2.279

Sefton-Green, J., & Pangrazio, L. (2021). The death of the educative subject? The limits of criticality under datafication. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2021.1978072

Selwyn, N., Pangrazio, L., & Cumbo, B. (2021). Knowing the (datafied) student: The production of the student subject through school data. British Journal of Educational Studies, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2021.1925085

Selwyn, N., Pangrazio, L., & Cumbo, B. (2021a). Attending to data: Exploring the use of attendance data within the datafied school. Research in Education, 109(1), 72–89. https://doi.org/10.1177/0034523720984200

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child acknowledges the First Australian owners of the lands on where we gather and pay our respects to the Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits of this country.