The Influence of Provider Communication Behaviors on Parental Vaccine Acceptance and Visit Experience

Am J Public Health. 2015 Oct;105(10):1998-2004. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302425. Epub 2015 Mar 19.


Objectives: We investigated how provider vaccine communication behaviors influence parental vaccination acceptance and visit experience.

Methods: In a cross-sectional observational study, we videotaped provider-parent vaccine discussions (n = 111). We coded visits for the format providers used for initiating the vaccine discussion (participatory vs presumptive), parental verbal resistance to vaccines after provider initiation (yes vs no), and provider pursuit of recommendations in the face of parental resistance (pursuit vs mitigated or no pursuit). Main outcomes were parental verbal acceptance of recommended vaccines at visit's end (all vs ≥ 1 refusal) and parental visit experience (highly vs lower rated).

Results: In multivariable models, participatory (vs presumptive) initiation formats were associated with decreased odds of accepting all vaccines at visit's end (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.04; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.01, 0.15) and increased odds of a highly rated visit experience (AOR = 17.3; 95% CI = 1.5, 200.3).

Conclusions: In the context of 2 general communication formats used by providers to initiate vaccine discussions, there appears to be an inverse relationship between parental acceptance of vaccines and visit experience. Further exploration of this inverse relationship in longitudinal studies is needed.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Communication*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination*
  • Washington