BACKGROUND: Low caregiver health literacy (HL) is related to increased obesity risk for their children. Teach-Back and Teach-to-Goal (TB/TTG) are strategies that may improve comprehension of key concepts for people who have low HL but have yet to be examined in the context of childhood obesity treatment. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated TB/TTG strategies integrated within support calls delivered to caregivers as part of a 3-month childhood obesity intervention. METHODS: Ninety-four caregivers (60% Black, 42% high school education or less, 53% with income ≤$29,999, and 34% low HL) with overweight/obese children age 8 to 12 years enrolled in a childhood obesity intervention. Caregiver HL was assessed at baseline using the Newest Vital Sign and caregivers were dichotomized to low and adequate HL groups for analyses. Caregivers received 6 bi-weekly support calls that alternated with in-person, family sessions. Call completion rates, comprehension of key content (correct responses on TB/TTG questions), and satisfaction with support calls were evaluated. Qualitative information on call satisfaction was gathered at the 3-month time point. KEY RESULTS: Average completion rate across all calls was 62% with a mean call time of 26 minutes (no significant difference between HL groups). Caregivers had an average score of 0.90 out of 1 when evaluating overall call comprehension by scoring TB/TTG performance. Content comprehension in calls 1, 3, and 4 was significantly higher among caregivers with adequate HL relative to low HL (p < .1). Caregivers from both HL groups felt satisfied with calls [9.1 (2.0)/10-point scale] and agreed that calls helped them learn class material better [8.1 (2.7)]. Qualitatively, caregivers provided 81 (75%) positive responses (e.g., good content) and 27 (25%) negative responses (e.g., too lengthy) regarding the support calls. CONCLUSIONS: Support calls using TB/TTG strategies were feasible, well received, and should be considered for incorporation into childhood obesity interventions. [HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. 2021;5(3):e208-e217.] Plain Language Summary: This study evaluated support calls that used Teach-Back and Teach-to-Goal health literacy strategies as part of a childhood obesity treatment trial. Support calls were well accepted and facilitated comprehension of the key learning objectives in caregivers, regardless of health literacy level. These strategies should be considered for incorporation into childhood obesity treatment interventions to increase uptake of main concepts.
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