Health literacy and health-related quality of life in patients with anorectal malformations: A comparison between a charity hospital in Honduras and a tertiary care center in the United States

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Pediatric Surgery








Anorectal malformation; Children; Health literacy; Honduras; Quality of life


© 2018 Elsevier Inc. Background/purpose: We conduct an annual medical mission to Hospital Ruth Paz para Niños Quemados y Cirugía Pediátrica in Honduras to operate on cases of anorectal malformations (ARM). To improve our knowledge of these patients, we compared their health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and the health literacy of their caregivers from this hospital and ours in the United States. Methods: The BRIEF Health Literacy Screen (BHLS) and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (PedsQL) were used, respectively, to assess the health literacy and HRQoL of their guardians. All patients scheduled for an ARM-related operation in October 2016 were eligible for inclusion, and a matched population was selected in Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. Results: The sample comprised 127 patients, with 22 from Honduras and 105, the US. About 13.6% and 80% of Honduran and American caregivers, respectively, had adequate literacy. Honduran and American caregivers of patients aged 12 months and below rated the HRQoL of their children at 87 and 82, respectively; aged between two and four years, at 84 and 77; aged between two and four years, at 85 and 79; and of teens, at 59 and 66. For adults, the rate was 71 and 77 in Honduras and the US, respectively. Conclusion: Although health literacy is extremely low in the Honduran group, its HRQoL was comparable to that of its American counterpart. Improving health literacy by educating caregivers could be an additional goal for medical missions in the future. Level of Evidence: Level III

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