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Am J Prev Med. 1997 Mar-Apr;13(2):89-97.

Barriers to measles and pertussis immunization: the knowledge and attitudes of Pennsylvania primary care physicians.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA 15261, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To understand the causes of low childhood immunization rates, physicians were interviewed about their knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported immunization practices.

METHODS:

Trained interviewers conducted a standardized telephone survey of physicians. A random sample of Pennsylvania family physicians, pediatricians, and general practitioners younger than 65 years of age who were in office-based practices was selected from the combined listings of the American Medical Association and American Osteopathic Association. Physicians seeing > or = 5 patients per week under age 6 years, seeing a total of > or = 15 patients per week, and having > or = 50% primary care patients were eligible. Of 383 eligible physicians, 70% (268) responded. The questionnaire was designed using the Health Belief Model, immunization barriers, and input from practitioners in primary care, pediatric infectious disease, maternal/ child health, and preventive medicine.

RESULTS:

Respondents were more likely to refer to public vaccine clinics those children without insurance (P < .001) or with Medicaid (P < .001) than children with insurance. Almost all (> 90%) respondents thought that vaccine efficacy was high and that the likelihood of serious side effects was low. However, only 37% gave estimates that corresponded with the literature regarding the likelihood of an infant with pertussis to need hospitalization. Many respondents used invalid vaccine contraindications; for instance, 37% would not administer MMR to a boy whose mother was pregnant. Many respondents (21%) would not administer four vaccines simultaneously.

CONCLUSIONS:

If the Healthy People 2000 goal to eliminate indigenous cases of measles is to be achieved, free vaccine supplies and increased provider education are needed.

PMID:
9088444
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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