The number of educational topics a pediatrician is trained to cover in a standard well child visit is a bit overwhelming. Each topic could (and does) fill books. A 2006 study published in Pediatrics found that there are 162 different verbal health advice directives that pediatricians are told to cover with each patient over time. These important topics range from injury prevention to nutrition to sexual health to literacy promotion. But, as the authors of the study point out, not only is there little time to cover these topics, there is scant evidence to suggest whether or not talking about these topics with families is actually effective. It is often difficult to know exactly what to prioritize for discussion in a short clinic visit. In order to ameliorate our own anxiety that we didn’t have time for everything, many pediatricians provide educational handouts. But, does anyone read them? What’s more, are they written in the language the parent speaks, at a level they can understand?
The “app gap”: How parents obtain health information