Secrets to success: a qualitative study of perceptions of childhood immunisations in a highly immunised population

J Paediatr Child Health. 2008 Oct;44(10):541-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2008.01334.x. Epub 2008 Jun 18.


Aim: The aim of this study was to explore childhood immunisations with a sample of parents from a population where children have high vaccination coverage and to identify factors which might encourage uptake in other populations.

Methods: This research was conducted as part of a larger study on childhood immunisations in Hong Kong. In-depth interviews were conducted with a subsample of parents (n = 15) to further explore general perceptions and health beliefs about childhood immunisations. Interview data were analysed using content analysis techniques.

Results: Three core themes emerged from the data: individual influences factors, family and social factors, and system factors. [Correction added after online publication 21/8/08: sentence corrected from "Four core themes emerged from the data: individual influences, family influences and system influences."] Parents readily admitted knowledge deficits concerning childhood vaccines but believed that the benefits of immunisation outweighed the risks. Family members and peers were a source of pro-immunisation advice and comprehensive public health programmes and mandatory vaccination requirements for school entry ensured that childhood immunisation recommendations were followed.

Conclusions: Overall, Hong Kong parents are highly supportive of immunisation programmes and insight gained from this study could prove helpful to providers trying to improve uptake rates among other populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Immunization / psychology*
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Parents
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*