Objective: To assess the effectiveness of reminder/recall (R/R) for immunizing adolescents in private pediatric practices and to describe the associated costs and revenues.
Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial in 4 private pediatric practices in metropolitan Denver. In each practice, 400 adolescents aged 11 to 18 years who had not received 1 or more targeted vaccinations (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis, meningococcal conjugate, or first dose of human papillomavirus vaccine for female patients) were randomly selected and randomized to intervention (2 letters and 2 telephone calls) or control (usual care) groups. Primary outcomes were receipt of >1 targeted vaccines and receipt of all targeted vaccines 6 months postintervention. We calculated net additional revenue for each additional adolescent who received at least 1 targeted vaccine and for those who received all targeted vaccines.
Results: Eight hundred adolescents were randomized to the intervention and 800 to the control group. Baseline rates of having already received tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis, meningococcal conjugate, and first dose of human papillomavirus vaccine before R/R ranged from 33% to 54%. Postintervention, the intervention group had significantly higher proportions of receipt of at least 1 targeted vaccine (47.1% vs 34.6%, P < .0001) and receipt of all targeted vaccines (36.2% vs 25.2%, P < .0001) compared with the control group. Three practices had positive net revenues from R/R; 1 showed net losses.
Conclusions: R/R was successful at increasing immunization rates in adolescents and effect sizes were comparable to those in younger children. Practices conducting R/R may benefit financially if they can generate additional well-child care visits and keep supply costs low.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00715234.