Dr. Erika Kancler
Introduction: The importance, safety, and efficacy of vaccines has been questioned more than ever despite the clear and significant effectiveness of vaccines to reduce the incidence of severe illnesses.1 Currently, the only required education before administering vaccines is the Vaccine Information Statements (VIS), which is provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at each vaccination visit. These statements outline benefits and risks of vaccines but are written at an above-average reading level and do not directly address specific vaccine concerns. Many vaccine concerns can be assuaged with proactive education by providers at early well-child visits.
Objective: To determine the best methods for providers to educate parents about vaccines.
Methods: 241 studies were found through Pubmed and Pediatric Journal searches. 93 records were screened, and 14 articles were assessed for eligibility. Three randomized trials were chosen and a systematic review was performed for each.
Intervention: All studies provided an easy-to-read pamphlet that addressed specific questions about vaccine safety, importance, and efficacy. One study (Williams, et al) also provided a video addressing common vaccine concerns.
Results: In all studies, supplemental educational information led to improved attitudes about vaccines. None of the studies reported a significant change in the number of on-time vaccines received. Mothers in all groups stated they preferred to receive vaccine information prior to the first visit when vaccines were administered.
Conclusion: Easy-to-understand, accessible information addressing vaccine concerns provides more confidence in recommended vaccination schedules as compared to receiving the standard VIS. Providing these educational handouts prior to the first vaccination visit eases parent concerns without taking additional provider time.
Quinn RC, Walsh AC. The effect of education on parental attitudes and beliefs towards vaccines. JMU Scholarly Commons Physician Assistant Capstones. http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/pacapstones/21. Published May 16, 2017.