The effects of a family-based educational intervention on the prevention of lead poisoning in children

Loraine Royce Wasserman, Florida International University


The effects of lead exposure may endure through one's lifetime and can negatively effect educational performance. While the link between the cause and effects of lead poisoning has been identified, the application of lead health education as the mechanism of disease prevention has not. The purpose of this study was to examine whether caregiver participation in a family-based educational intervention can result in decreased lead exposure in low socioeconomic children. Participants (n = 50) were caregivers of children 12 to 36 months of age. They were randomly selected from an urban clinic and randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. The experimental design of this study involved two clinic visits. Parents in the treatment group were given the educational intervention during the first clinic visit while those in the control group were given the intervention during the second clinic visit. The intervention was reinforced with a lead education brochure coupled with a video on childhood lead poisoning. One instrument was used to test parental knowledge of lead poisoning both pre- and post-intervention. Blood lead levels in pediatric participants were tested using two blood lead screens approximately three to four months apart determined by well-child check-up schedules. Findings from the analysis of variance showed the interaction between the change in blood lead level between the children's first and second clinic visits and the treatment level. This demonstrated a significant interaction between the differences of first and second clinic visits blood lead levels and the presence or absence of the educational intervention. The findings from an analysis of covariance support that caregivers in the treatment group have significantly higher scores on the second clinic visit scores on the CLKT than the caregivers in the control group. These data suggest that the educational treatment is effective in increasing the knowledge of caregivers about the dangers of lead poisoning and the strategies for lead poisoning prevention. Conclusions indicate that the education of adult caregivers can affect blood lead levels of children, the educational treatment increased the knowledge of caregivers, caregivers were able to carry out procedures taught, and caregivers retained knowledge over time.

Subject Area

Health education|Public health

Recommended Citation

Wasserman, Loraine Royce, "The effects of a family-based educational intervention on the prevention of lead poisoning in children" (2002). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3059791.