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Vaccine. 2005 Mar 31;23(19):2486-93.

Confidence in vaccination: a parent model.

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Policy, Public Health and Medical Affairs Department, Merck Vaccine Division, Merck & Co. Inc., WP97-A343, P.O. Box 4, West Point, PA 19486, USA.


Although vaccination has been heralded as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements, how parents differ in their views about vaccination is not well understood. A deeper understanding of these attitudes and beliefs may improve the effectiveness of vaccine communications. In this mailed survey of U.S. parents in January 2001 (return response rate 49%), parental confidence in vaccination was very high, although there was significant variation among parents. Using multivariate analyses to group and profile parents, 90% of parents (n=1820) were classified into one of four distinct parent groups: (1) "Vaccine Believer" parents who were convinced of the benefit of vaccination; (2) "Cautious" parents noteworthy for a high emotional investment in their child; (3) "Relaxed" parents characterized by a less involved parenting style and some skepticism about vaccines; and (4) "Unconvinced" parents distinguished by their distrust of vaccinations and vaccination policy. These findings suggest that messages that are customized to parents' attitudes and beliefs may improve their understanding and acceptance of vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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