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Factors Influencing Mothers’ Concerns about Immunization Safety: RESULTS Part 2

Reasons Mothers Had Their Children Immunized despite Concerns

Social norms and/or laws supporting immunization and fear of the consequences of not immunizing were major factors that influenced mothers to have their children immunized despite their concerns (Table 4).

Table 4. Reasons Mothers Immunized Despite Concerns

Social Norms and Laws

School and daycare requirements

“Well, based on the research I’ve done they’re not necessary. We just do it because we’re told to.”

“…really you almost feel like you’re forced to get these because they can’t get in school. They can’t do anything so you’re sitting there and you’re like okay if 1 don’t do this it’s a catch 22 unless you want to home school.”

“I’d be willing to bet that a great majority of people get their children immunized strictly for school. If the school said tomorrow that your child does not need to be vaccinated then 1 think you would see a huge decline”

“1 was just doing it initially because that’s how she’s going to get into daycare. 1 was just doing it because society said let’s do it, let’s do it. But now I’m not too sure.”

Fear of the Consequences of not Immunizing

Protection from ‘foreign’ disease

“[1 get my children immunized] because 1 would like to be able to visit a foreign country and 1 know that some of those foreign countries carry a lot of diseases and 1 would like to know that my child is sheltered from the diseases there.”

“1 think they [immunizations] are necessary…when you have a lot of different people coming into this country…if it were just us then we probably wouldn’t have to worry.”

“…especially now, [when] there are lots of people coming from different countries, maybe countries where old school diseases are still killing people. So you’ve got to protect your kids [by immunizing them].”

Social Norms and Laws. The majority of participants perceived immunization to be a “required” and/or “expected practice” in society. Mothers felt as if they “had no choice” and were “forced” to immunize because of school or daycare regulations. When asked why they were still having their children immunized despite their high level of concern, the majority of mothers responded: “Because of school”, “It’s a requirement”, “It’s the American way”, “It’s so expected and it’s part of what you have to do.” Some mothers also expressed the idea that without school laws people might not choose to have their children vaccinated.  cheap levitra professional

Fear of Not Immunizing. To a lesser extent, fear of the consequences of their child not being immunized was also identified as a factor that prompted some mothers to immunize. Mothers said they would feel guilty for “not protecting” their children if they caught a vaccine-preventable disease. For example, one mother said, “I don’t think I can gamble on my child’s life like that [by not immunizing].” Interestingly, several mothers believed that the United States was relatively free of vaccine-preventable diseases and emphasized that immunizations were important for protection from diseases that still existed in “foreign” countries or that were brought into the United States by “immigrants”.

Reducing Concerns

Suggestions mothers had to reduce their concerns were mainly to provide more information tailored to the issues that they were concerned about and for improved communication with their HCPs to help them understand this information (Table 5). discount esomeprazole

Table 5. Ways to Reduce Concern

Information Availability

General need for information

“It [information] empowers you. It makes you feel like you have some control. We don’t have a lot of control over these vaccination issues [but] if you [could] have that information and that relationship [with your provider] then you feel like you have some control and you can make wise decisions”

More optimum timing of distribution

“When [your child is] called in and getting ready to get the shots you’re flustered with worrying about how to comfort the child…you’re not thinking about trying to read that information at the time. You need it ahead of time.”

“I’d [like the information] beforehand so 1 can be prepared for my questions [to my doctor].”

Improved Provider-Patient Communication

Healthcare providers treat parents like partners

“There should be more information that’s given by the doctors which would show a concern on their part. Basically showing we’re here trying to help you.”

“I’m not a medical professional. I’m a mom. [HCPs] need to…give me more information so that 1 can ask an intelligent question…at least for the medical professionals [need] to slow down…Slow down when you’re handling my child and slow down when you’re giving me the information about my child.”

Information Availability. One main reason mothers gave for their concerns was that little information about immunizations was provided to them. Not having access to information may have contributed to mothers feeling as if they “lacked control” during the immunization process. Mothers stated that getting information from a trusted source would make them feel more “empowered” and comfortable with making “informed decisions” about immunization. Mothers wanted information that addressed their concerns—information explaining the “side effects”, the “ingredients”, the “importance” of immunizations and “how to treat adverse events”. Most mothers suggested that the information be available at their child’s HCPs office. Additionally, mothers who had received information emphasized that the majority of the time they did not receive this information until the actual immunization visit, when they did not have time to focus on the materials. They suggested that the material be given out multiple times before their child was due for a vaccination. cialis super active online

Improved Provider-Patient Communication. Along with making information available to mothers, good provider-patient communication was also an essential component to addressing their concerns. Mothers wanted a feeling that their HCPs were willing to take the time to “help them” through the process in a way that they could easily understand. Again, mothers wanted information before their child’s immunization visit so that they could ask their HCPs “educated questions” and have a more useful discussion about any concerns they might have about immunizations.

Category: Main

Tags: African-American, immunization safety, mistrust, parental concerns

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