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Lack of effective strategies available to address vaccine-hesitant parents

November 23, 2014

NEW YORK — Sean T. O'Leary, MD, MPH, from the department of pediatrics at the University of Colorado, discusses the lack of proven evidence-based strategies to overcome parental resistance to vaccines and improve immunization rates in primary care settings.

Among experimental strategies being examined is the use of a presumptive format (“We have to do some shots”) rather than participatory format (“What do you want to do about shots?”) by the physician when initiating discussions with parents about vaccines. Parents were found to be much less likely to resist immunizations if the physician used language that presumed the parent will accept the vaccines, instead of language that indicated that vaccinations were to be discussed and then decided on together.

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