A pilot study on the effects of individually tailored education for MMR vaccine-hesitant parents on MMR vaccination intention

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Feb;9(2):437-45. doi: 10.4161/hv.22821. Epub 2013 Jan 4.


Healthcare providers need strategies to better address the concerns of vaccine-hesitant parents. We studied whether individually tailored education was more effective than untailored education at improving vaccination intention among MMR vaccine-hesitant parents. In an intervention pilot study of parents (n = 77) of children < 6 y who screened as hesitant to vaccinate against MMR (first or second dose), parents were randomly assigned to receive either (1) educational web pages that were individually tailored to address their specific vaccine concerns; or (2) web pages similar in appearance to the intervention but containing untailored information. The main outcome, change in vaccination intention before and after the intervention, was assessed using an 11-pt scale (higher values indicated greater intent). We found that a greater proportion of parents in the tailored than untailored arm had positive vaccination intentions after viewing educational information (58% vs. 46%). Furthermore, parents in the tailored group had a greater magnitude of change in vaccination intention (1.08 vs. 0.49 points) than participants in the untailored group. However, neither of these results was statistically significant. From this pilot study we conclude message tailoring may be an effective way to improve vaccine compliance among vaccine hesitant parents. However, larger studies are warranted to further investigate the efficacy of providing tailored education for increasing vaccine acceptance among parents with diverse beliefs.

Keywords: Measles-mumps-rubella vaccine; parents; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine refusal.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Vaccination / psychology*
  • Young Adult


  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine