The key to vaccine-hesitant parents

February 1, 2014

Vaccine-hesitant parents respond to strong provider recommendations.

Vaccine-hesitant parents respond to strong provider recommendations. An analysis of 111 vaccine discussions, half of which involved parents with concerns about having their children vaccinated, found that parents were significantly more likely to resist vaccine recommendations if the provider initiated recommendations in a participatory manner (eg, “What do you want to do about shots?”) rather than presumptively (eg, “Well, we have to do some shots”). In addition, when providers pursued vaccine recommendations presumptively in the face of parental resistance, almost half of initially resistant parents accepted the recommendation (Opel DJ, et al. Pediatrics. 2013;132[6]:1037-1046). 

MS FREEDMAN is a freelance medical editor and writer in New Jersey. DR BURKE, section editor for Journal Club, is chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, and physician contributing editor for Contemporary Pediatrics. The editors have nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organizations that may have an interest in any part of this article.