Using the teach-back and Orem's Self-care Deficit Nursing theory to increase childhood immunization communication among low-income mothers

Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. Jan-Mar 2008;31(1):7-22. doi: 10.1080/01460860701877142.


Guided by Orem's Self-care Deficit Nursing theory, the purpose of the pilot study was to assess the relationship between maternal health literacy and the mother's ability to comprehend and communicate information about childhood immunizations. Communication is the key to positive health results, particularly for patients with low literacy skills, yet few studies have examined patients' ability to converse about health information taught to them by providers. The study was conducted in an urban walk-in immunization clinic. A quantitative-qualitative research design was used. Convenience sampling was applied to obtain 15 mothers with one child (M1) and 15 mothers with more than one child (M>1). The Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy (REALM) was used to assess literacy level. Vaccine information statements on inactive poliovirus (IPV) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) were instructional materials used in the teach- back procedure. Although the results of the study were mixed, patterns and trends were noted. Mothers with higher literacy levels provided more correct responses for the benefits of the polio vaccine than did those mothers with lower literacy levels (F(2,25)=4.70, p= .02). For both IPV and PCV vaccines, more mothers gave correct answers for risks and benefits, but more mothers gave incorrect answers for safety. There also was some relationship between mother's age and correctness of responses regarding risk of pneumonia vaccination (F(2,24)=3.79, p= .04). The inconsistency of the mothers' responses to communicate critical immunization information about vaccines indicates the need to further assess how best to increase parents' vaccine knowledge and communication skills.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Communication*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Mothers* / education
  • Mothers* / psychology
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Theory
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Teaching / methods
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccination / nursing
  • Vaccination / psychology*