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Pediatrics. 1998 Aug;102(2):e26.

Videotape increases parent knowledge about poliovirus vaccines and choices of polio vaccination schedules.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.



To study the effect of an educational videotape about poliovirus vaccines and choices of schedules for parents/guardians of children starting the polio vaccination series.


Prospective, randomized trial comparing two educational interventions.


Five pediatric offices (two university-based, two health maintenance organization staff models, and one private practice) and a local health department immunization clinic in the greater Lansing, MI, area.


A total of 287 parents/guardians of 2- to 3-month-olds presenting for well-child care and due for the first set of immunizations including poliovirus vaccine.


Parents/guardians were randomized to read the vaccine information statement (VIS) alone or to read the VIS and view a 15-minute videotape about polio vaccination and choices of schedules produced by Michigan State University. The intervention groups were similar by race/ethnicity, education, and relationship to the child.


Change in knowledge about the risk of poliomyelitis in the United States, transmission of poliomyelitis, characteristics of the two poliovirus vaccines, and choices of polio vaccination schedules; and parent opinion on effectiveness of the interventions, as measured by pre- and postintervention questionnaires.


Both interventions resulted in increased test scores of knowledge. However, videotape viewers scored significantly higher on their posttest compared with parents/guardians assigned to VIS only. This significant increase was noted across all practice types, two of three major racial/ethnic groups, and educational levels. (The increase for Hispanic parents/guardians approached significance). Reading the VIS did not improve posttest scores for videotape viewers. Reading the VIS did improve posttest scores for those assigned to VIS only, but these scores still were not as high as for videotape viewers who did not read the VIS.


This study demonstrated that a complicated discussion of risks/benefits of two vaccines and their schedules of administration could be communicated effectively via a videotaped presentation. In addition, the videotape was more effective than VIS alone in increasing short-term knowledge, regardless of practice type, race/ethnicity, or educational level. As immunization schedules increase in complexity and parents are asked to make more choices, videotaped information may be a better method to achieve the goal of truly informed consent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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