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Parental Vaccine Acceptance Linked to Provider Communication

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Parental vaccine acceptance is associated with how providers initiate and pursue vaccine recommendations, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in Pediatrics.

Douglas J. Opel, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional observational study to characterize provider-parent vaccine communication. One hundred eleven vaccine discussions with 16 providers were videotaped during health supervision visits with parents of children aged 1 to 19 months. Vaccine-hesitant parents (VHPs), designated as such by scoring of a written survey before the visit, were oversampled. The association between provider communication practices and parental resistance to vaccines was explored.

The researchers found that 74 percent of providers initiated vaccine recommendations with presumptive communication ("We have to do some shots"), rather than participatory formats ("What do you want to do about shots?"). Significantly more of the 41 percent of parents who voiced resistance to provider initiation were VHPs than non-VHPs. The odds of resisting vaccine recommendations were significantly increased if the provider used a participatory versus a presumptive initiation format (adjusted odds ratio, 17.5). Half of providers pursued their original recommendation when parents resisted, at which point 47 percent of initially resistant parents accepted recommendations.

"How providers initiate their vaccine recommendations at health supervision visits appears to be an important determinant of parent resistance to that recommendation," the authors write.

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