Parental Perspectives on Influenza Immunization of Children Aged 6 to 23 Months

Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 10/2005; 29(3):210-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.05.010
Source: PubMed


For the first time, in 2002, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices encouraged the vaccination of healthy children 6 to 23 months against influenza, whenever feasible. Participating inner-city health centers designed interventions to introduce influenza vaccination among this group of children. The study was designed to assess parents' attitudes toward the vaccine.
Following the 2002-2003 influenza vaccination season, parents were surveyed to identify barriers to and facilitators of influenza vaccination. A low-literacy level, 19-question survey was mailed to parents in three waves, 4 weeks apart. A subset of children had medical record data available to confirm vaccination status. Measures of validity were calculated. This paper focused only on the children whose parent-reported vaccination status was concordant with that reported in medical records (n = 193). Associations of responses to vaccination status were calculated in 2004, using chi-square and logistic regression procedures.
Sensitivity was 85.7% and specificity was 66% (kappa = 0.50), assessing the ability of parents to recall receipt or nonreceipt of influenza vaccine. The most important factors related to immunization of healthy infants were perceived doctor's recommendation (odds ratio [OR] = 5.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.4-12.3; p < 0.001) and belief that getting an influenza shot is a smart idea (OR = 3.5; 95% CI = 1.3-8.9; p < 0.01) for those with medical record-confirmed vaccination status.
A clear message that the doctor recommends influenza vaccination for a child is an important factor for ensuring vaccination, and may foster the idea that vaccination is "smart."

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    • "In studies that used quantitative methods, one applied the theory of reasoned action (Lin et al., 2006; Nowalk et al., 2005), one applied the HBM (Gnanasekaran et al., 2006; Tuma et al., 2002), and two studies applied neither (Esposito et al., 2006; Humiston et al., 2005). Of the reasoned action studies, one only focused on the influence of vaccines and did not consider caregiver perceptions of susceptibility of influenza (Lin et al., 2006), and one did not consider caregiver perceptions of the severity of influenza (Nowalk et al., 2005). Of the studies that have applied HBM, one did not test the components of cues to action and perceived benefits (Gnanasekaran, 2006); another did not characterize the caregivers and their children and did not evaluate possible confounding factors in the results of the study (Tuma et al., 2002). "
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