New intervention to combat vaccine hesitancy tested, found lacking

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A new intervention aimed at improving hesitancy about early childhood vaccines by working directly with physicians was found to be inadequate in a recent Group Health Research Institute study.

GHRI researchers conducted a randomized trial that included 347 mothers of newborns receiving care at 56 primary care clinics in two western Washington counties. The trial tested the impact of a one-time, 45-minute training session and six months of follow-up communication for physicians in intervention clinics.

The communication training intervention — called Ask, Acknowledge and Advise — encouraged providers to use respectful, open dialogue with parents while recommending vaccination, and it included anyone working in the clinic who wished to attend.

Ultimately, the researchers found vaccine hesitancy rates declined slightly in both the 30 intervention and the 26 control clinics over a six-month study period — and did not differ greatly between them. The intervention did not seem to change either the mothers' vaccine hesitancy or the physicians' confidence in communicating about vaccines.

"More research is needed to identify strategies that help primary care physicians to address parents' vaccine hesitancy," said principal investigator David C. Grossman, MD. "Doctors are the main source of vaccine information for most parents, so they need evidence-based ways to address parental vaccine concerns."



More articles on vaccines:
CDC, Georgia Institute of Technology develop microneedle patch for vaccines
High-dose flu vaccine for all elderly patients may be unnecessary
Is a weaker vaccine to blame for Washington whooping cough outbreak?

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