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Table 1 Summary of studies identifying parental positions on vaccination

From: Communicating with parents about vaccination: a framework for health professionals

Study Setting/sample Method Results
Gust et al., 2005[28] US population-based sample of 584 parents with at least one child aged 6 years and under (The ConsumerStyles and HealthStyles surveys 2002) Telephone administered questionnaire. 3.9% reported that child had not had all recommended immunisations.
   44 questions about beliefs and attitudes towards vaccination, influence of family and friends on vaccination decisions and dependence on doctor’s advice. K-means cluster ANOVA analysis to group like responses. Five attitudinal categories:
    ‘immunisation advocate’ (33%); ‘go along to get along’ (26%); ‘health advocate’ (25%); ‘fence sitter’ (13%); and ‘worried’ (2.6%).
Downs et al., 2007[30] 30 US parents of children aged 18–23 months, recruited from three cities with diverse socio-demographic profiles and vaccination attitudes Mixed methods ‘mental models’ interviews conducted by telephone. Open and closed ended questions were designed to identify predominating cognitive pathways in decision making about vaccination. Two main decision making types although views were overlapping:
    ‘health oriented’ (n = 16) trusted anecdotal communication more than statistical arguments;
    ‘risk oriented’ (n = 14) trusted communication with statistical arguments more than anecdotal information.
Benin et al., 2006[29] 33 US mothers recruited post partum in one hospital or in the care of participating midwifery practices in one US state All mothers were interviewed face to face in immediate postpartum period and 19 mothers were interviewed by telephone when baby was 3–6 months old to determine attitudes towards vaccinating; risks and benefits of vaccination; and requirements for, and sources of, information. Respondents categorised into groups, based on behaviours and attitudes. Two main categories – Vaccinators (n = 25) with sub-categories: ‘acceptors’ (n = 20) and ‘vaccine hesitant’ (n = 5).
    Non-vaccinators (n = 8) with subcategories: ‘late (or partial) vaccinators’ (n = 3) and ‘rejectors’ (n = 5) who refused all vaccines.