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Why parents miss their children's immunization visits
Date:5/5/2009

BALTIMORE According to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, there are several factors that contribute to children missing immunization visits.

The findings will be reported in a platform presentation at 8:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting here.

"We know that approximately 20 percent of our nation's young children are under-immunized, and previous research has identified many sociodemographic factors, such as lacking insurance or a usual source of care, that may lead to under-immunization. What we wanted to look at were families who actually had a place to go their child has a health care provider but they missed one or more immunization appointments," said the lead investigator, Melissa Stockwell, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and population family health at Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health, medical director of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Immunization Registry (EzVAC) and a pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.

"What we have identified are small steps that health care providers can take to improve keeping immunization appointments such as talking with parents about the importance of immunizations, having open lines of communication with them, and making it easier for parents to schedule/reschedule appointments. We believe that the first step is making providers aware that how their clinic or office is set up can affect compliance with appointments such as how long it takes to make an appointment or how rescheduling requests are processed," added Dr. Stockwell.

Dr. Stockwell and her research team surveyed the parents of 705 children under the age of three about immunization experiences. The interviews (conducted in both English and Spanish) took place at community health ce
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Contact: Elizabeth Streich
eas2125@columbia.edu
212-305-6535
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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