Healthcare workers' role in keeping MMR vaccination uptake high in Europe: A review of evidence

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, Sweden.
Eurosurveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin (Impact Factor: 5.72). 06/2012; 17(26).
Source: PubMed


Measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease. Europe is far from the 95% coverage rates necessary for elimination of the disease, although a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available. We reviewed the literature on studies carried out in European countries from January 1991 to September 2011 on knowledge, attitudes and practices of health professionals towards measles vaccination and on how health professionals have an impact on parental vaccination choices. Both quantitative and qualitative studies were considered: a total of 28 eligible articles were retrieved. Healthcare workers are considered by parents as a primary and trustworthy source of information on childhood vaccination. Gaps in knowledge and poor communication from healthcare workers are detrimental to high immunisation rates. Correct and transparent information for parents plays a key role in parental decisions on whether to have their children vaccinated. Healthcare workers' knowledge of and positive attitudes towards measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination are crucial to meeting the measles elimination goal. An effort should be made to overcome potential communication barriers and to strengthen vaccine education among healthcare professionals.

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Available from: Pier Luigi Lopalco, Mar 12, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: As a result of sub-optimal immunization levels, measles has re-emerged in the EU since 2008 (30 567 cases in 2011), and nearly half of the cases reported are in France. Our objectives were to assess knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of French general practitioners (GPs) towards measles and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. In 2012, we surveyed 329 GPs in southeastern France. Forty-five percent reported that they saw patients with measles in 2011. They considered the risk of complications low among 2-5-year-old children and young adults without co-morbidity. Twenty percent knew that two MMR doses are 99% effective in preventing measles. Nearly all (95%) GPs stated that they verified the MMR status for patients <30 years old in 2011 (42% systematically, 37% often, 15% sometimes). Seventy-nine percent reported proposing MMR vaccination to non-immune relatives in contact with a patient with measles. Participation in continuing medical education courses and considering measles to be a serious disease were independently associated with such post-exposure vaccination. GPs considered the following were potential barriers to the second dose of MMR (MMR2): parents/patients' belief that measles is harmless (80%), parents/patients' fear of the vaccine's side effects (50%), difficulty in documenting vaccination (48%) and lack of reminders for MMR2 (16%). Finally, some GPs also had misconceptions about the severity of measles (13%) and the usefulness of MMR2 (12%), which also served as barriers. In conclusion, it is essential to raise GPs' awareness of this disease and fill any gaps in their knowledge, by providing them with evidence-based information on measles and MMR vaccination.
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