What Clinicians should do
Clinicians have the skills of persuasion and use them everyday in their efforts to advise patients. Salmon and colleagues have documented that parents, even those who hesitate, identify clinicians as their most frequent source of information about vaccination. Serpell and Green emphasize the importance of accepting the duty to persuade and not just inform. We must recognize that parents are struggling to make correct decisions for their children, and they depend upon their relationships with their clinicians for help with those decisions. That relationship takes time. The clinician should anticipate the needs for parental education early in the relationship. Consider the education an ongoing conversation that continues over many visits. As for content, clinicians must work to stay informed about vaccines, the diseases they prevent and the data supporting their effectiveness and safety. Clinicians must heed that parents often have concerns specific to a particular vaccine and the details are important. Finally, clinicians must remember the need not just to inform, but persuade. Parents are seeking not just a tallying of benefits and risks, but a recommendation.
Robert M Jacobson works as the Chair and Professor of Pediatrics at Mayo Clinic and serves on a Safety Review Committee for Kaiser Permanente for a study it is conducting on Gardasil (human papillomavirus vaccine). He also serves as a principal investigator for two pneumococcal conjugate vaccine studies funded by Pfizer and for a meningococcal conjugate vaccine study funded by Novartis. The author has no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.
No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.
Pediatr Health. 2010;4(3):239-242. © 2010 Future Medicine Ltd.
Cite this: Vaccination Refusal and Parental Education: Lessons Learnt and Future Challenges - Medscape - Jun 01, 2010.