Parents’ Confidence in Recommended Childhood Vaccinations
Glen J. Nowak and Michael A. Cacciatore (2016), Parents’ Confidence in Recommended Childhood Vaccinations: Extending the Assessment, Expanding the Context. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. Published online: Sept. 28, 2016. (DOI): 10.1080/21645515.2016.1236881
Abstract: There has been significant and growing interest in vaccine hesitancy and confidence in the United States as well as across the globe. While studies have used confidence measures, few studies have provided in-depth assessments and no studies have assessed parents’ confidence in vaccines in relationship to other frequently recommended health-related products for young children. This study used a nationally representative sample of 1000 U.S. parents to identify confidence levels for recommended vaccinations, antibiotics, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, and vitamins for children. Parents’ confidence in vaccines was relatively high and high relative to antibiotics, OTC medicines and vitamins. For all four health-related products examined, past product experience and knowledge of bad or adverse outcomes negatively impacted parents’ confidence levels. Confidence levels were associated with both trust in advice from their child’s healthcare provider and acceptance of healthcare provider recommendations. Parents in some groups, such as those with lower income and education levels, were more likely to have less confidence not just in vaccines, but also in antibiotics and OTC medicines for children. Overall, the findings extend understanding of vaccine confidence, including by placing it into a broader context.
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