A Randomized Trial to Increase Acceptance of Childhood Vaccines by Vaccine-Hesitant Parents: A Pilot Study



      A cluster randomized trial was performed to evaluate an educational intervention to improve parental attitudes and vaccine uptake in vaccine-hesitant parents.


      Two primary care sites were randomized to provide families with either usual care or an intervention (video and written information) for vaccine-hesitant parents. Eligible parents included those presenting for their child's 2-week well-child visit with performance on the Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines (PACV) survey suggesting vaccine hesitancy (score ≥25). Enrollees completed PACV surveys at the 2-month well-child visit and vaccination status at 12 weeks of age was assessed. The primary outcome was the difference in PACV scores obtained at enrollment and 2 months between the 2 groups. The proportion of on-time vaccination was also compared at 12 weeks.


      A total of 454 parents were approached, and 369 (81.3%) participated; 132 had PACV scores of ≥25 and were enrolled, 67 in the control group (mean PACV score 37) and 55 in the intervention group (mean PACV score 40). Two-month PACV surveys were completed by 108 (∼90%) of enrollees. Parents in the intervention group had a significant decrease in PACV score at 2 months compared to control (median difference 6.7, P = .049); this remained significant after adjustment for baseline PACV score, race/ethnicity, and income (P = .044). There was no difference in the on-time receipt of vaccines between groups at 12 weeks.


      A brief educational intervention for vaccine-hesitant parents was associated with a modest but significant increase in measured parental attitudes toward vaccines.


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