Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation




Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)


School of Nursing


Erika Metzler Sawin

Anne Callie Skillman

Jolynne Bartley



Background: Unless you are a healthcare provider or licensed healthcare professional, understanding the United States healthcare system and its accompanying medical jargon can be confusing and overwhelming to try to navigate. Even more difficult is comprehending what resources are available to specific populations and how to gain the most benefit from these offered resources. Limited health literacy skills have been identified as the largest barrier in identifying an individual’s health outcomes. Health affects every stage of life. The purpose of this paper is to analyze what health literacy implementations look like as well as the age and developmental stage that is most effective for individuals to begin learning about health literacy, and how continued education for nurses can be centered around improving health literacy. By identifying these important components, the question of the importance of health literacy, where disparities exist, and what assessment tools are the most valuable in collecting data to create interventions can be further understood.

Methods: The method for answering this question includes a literature synthesis of academic resources. The sample size for this project is forty total sources, found through James Madison University’s library database including PubMed, CINAHL, and EBSCO host. These sources define health literacy literature and related topics; the studies analyzed are interventions for pediatric health literacy. The collection of research was in an effort to answer our primary research question of what pediatric health literacy is and how interventions can be effective. There was a total of 8 sources involved in the literature review of Pediatric Interventions. Sources were chosen based on peer-reviewed status, relevancy and date.

Results: Our findings indicate the importance of health literacy, the individual's understanding of their healthcare needs and being able to communicate this with healthcare professionals in order to set them up for lifelong well-being. Findings also indicate that it is important to begin education about health, wellbeing, and autonomy in childhood, defined as ages school-aged (age 5-12) interventions, and adolescent interventions (age 13-17).

Discussion: The research findings support the thesis of early intervention. Health literacy education as early as school-aged and into adolescence allows children to continue to grow in understanding their health as they age; thus, becoming individuals who can make sound judgments and take control of their own health later in adulthood. Health literacy is of great importance for physical well-being and the foundations for this need to be laid in childhood.

Key words: health literacy, pediatrics, childhood intervention, health, comprehension



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.