General practitioners' concerns about childhood immunisation and suggestions for improving professional support and vaccine uptake

Commun Dis Public Health. 2004 Dec;7(4):260-6.


In recent years childhood vaccination has been vigorously debated. Professional and parental confidence in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in particular has been shaken, as reflected by its decreased uptake. A semi-structured postal questionnaire survey of general practitioners (GPs) working in the Highland region of Scotland was undertaken to assess their views on vaccination issues. A 73% response rate was achieved. Of respondents 28% expressed concerns about the possible side effects of MMR. Of GPs 98% thought it was 'likely' that the benefits of the DTP-Hib, polio and men C vaccines outweighed the possible risks. For the first and second doses of MMR 92% and 86%, respectively, believed this to be true. Approximately three quarters of GPs described themselves 'very confident' in discussing the DTP-Hib vaccine with parents, compared with 57% for MMR. Some respondents were misinformed regarding the adverse events associated with the MMR vaccine. There is professional concern about MMR. Initiatives to support GPs in promoting vaccination in order to improve immunisation rates are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Immunization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Information Dissemination
  • Male
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine* / adverse effects
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Scotland


  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine