Parental decision-making for the varicella vaccine

J Pediatr Health Care. Sep-Oct 2001;15(5):236-43. doi: 10.1067/mph.2001.114848.


Introduction: With the advent of new vaccines, improvements in established vaccines, and the availability of new combination vaccines, parents' decisions about vaccinating their children have become more complicated. This study examined parents' decision-making processes pertaining to whether to have their children vaccinated for varicella to gain a better understanding about how parents make vaccination decisions for their children. The "Awareness-to-Action Model" was used to examine parents' decision-making process before the action to vaccinate or refuse vaccination occurs.

Method: This study used a cross-sectional design and logistic regression to test the explanatory power of several factors related to the parental decision-making process. A stratified random sample of 262 members of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii participated in the study. Data were collected through telephone interviews.

Results: In the "Awareness-to-Action Model," the decision construct was statistically significant in explaining parents' decisions to have their child vaccinated. The overall model correctly classified 80% of the sample as accepters or nonaccepters of the vaccination for their child. This study provides a model that enables health care providers to understand parental decisions about vaccines. This knowledge can help target interventions to increase vaccine compliance, thus minimizing the risk of diseases preventable by vaccine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chickenpox / prevention & control*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Hawaii
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological