AURORA (April 13, 2011) A new study led by Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of the Children's Outcomes Research (COR) Program at The Children's Hospital, reports the results of a national survey of primary care physicians who deliver vaccinations to children. Major findings include a majority of physicians think that parents' level of concern about vaccines has either greatly or moderately increased in the past five years and that they are spending a significant amount of time at well child visits discussing vaccine safety with parents. Relying only on discussion of vaccines at visits where vaccines are needed may be too time-consuming and inadequate and may compromise providers' ability to focus on other important health care topics.
The study, Prevalence of Parental Concerns about Childhood Vaccines: The Experience of Primary Care Physicians, publishes in the May issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine and online April 15.
According to the study results, in a typical month, 79 percent of physicians report at least one vaccine refusal; 8 percent report refusals for more than 10 percent of children. And, 89 percent report at least one request to spread out vaccines20 percent report these requests for more than 10 percent of children.
Other study findings include the following:
"Primary care providers in this country have been doing a terrific job trying to counter the misinformation about vaccine safety that is so abundant on the internet and other media, but they are spending a great deal of their time at well visits discussing these issues alone," said Kempe. "The amount of time physicians have in a well child care visit to cover a lot of health care topics is very limited and they are not being paid for the lengthy discussions some parents with concerns need to have. Most importantly, they may have to compromise other health care topics if these discussions are long. Clearly, primary care physicians would benefit from a multi-pronged approach, with greater use of educational methods before visits or different educational forums such as group visits and much more effective use of media and social marketing to counter misinformation."
Kempe believes the multi-pronged approach should include the following:
Kempe is also the 2011 winner of the Academic Pediatric Association Research award. The award recognizes the highest level of research excellence and achievement in the field of general pediatrics. Kempe's research has led to improved child health policies in health disparities among underserved populations, state Children's Health Insurance Programs funding, and immunization delivery, policies and practices. She will receive her award during the Pediatric Academic Societies' 2011 Annual Meeting in Denver on May 1.
|Contact: Caitlin Jenney|
University of Colorado Denver