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PAS: Many Factors Adversely Affect Immunization

Last Updated: May 05, 2009.

Multiple parental, practice, provider and community factors affect the likelihood that parents will keep immunization appointments for young children, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies held May 2 to 5 in Baltimore.

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple parental, practice, provider and community factors affect the likelihood that parents will keep immunization appointments for young children, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies held May 2 to 5 in Baltimore.

Melissa S. Stockwell, M.D., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues surveyed the parents of 705 children aged 36 months and younger about immunization practices, interviewed families, and collected practice information from health centers, clinics and private practices where the children received primary care.

The researchers found that missed immunization appointments were more likely when parents rescheduled an appointment, had strong doubts about vaccination, lacked a medical home, or lacked a doctor who listens (adjusted odds ratios, 3.8, 3.3, 3.0 and 2.7, respectively) and when doctors' offices experienced scheduling difficulties (adjusted odds ratio, 3.1). They also found that missed immunization appointments were unlikely when family and friends had positive attitudes toward vaccination (adjusted odds ratio, 0.02).

"Targetable factors include provision of a medical home, especially with a doctor who listens, barriers to scheduling and rescheduling appointments, and individual and community-wide education regarding immunization importance," the authors conclude. "Interventions designed to increase immunization visits need to take into account these factors."

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