Purpose: To employ theoretic health decision models to determine strategies that may facilitate acceptance of hepatitis vaccination programs among adolescents and their parents/guardians.
Methods: The research was conducted in a hospital-based adolescent clinic between January and September 1994. Eighty adolescents and 65 parents participated in a survey that was administered to new patients. Two groups (those who accepted the vaccine and those who rejected it) were compared for each variable and potential predictor.
Results: The majority of adolescents and parents indicated that their clinic care provider was the initial contact to initiate discussion about the vaccine. Significant predictors for parents' acceptance of the vaccination were their perceptions of the vaccine's importance to the care provider and concern about the general risk of the disease. Predictors for adolescents' acceptance of the vaccine was their perception that their parents felt it was important and the extent to which they believed it was for "everyone" to be vaccinated.
Conclusions: Providers should be aware that adolescents are influenced by their parent's opinions and that the care provider's endorsement of the vaccine may be a key factor in parental acceptance of the vaccine. Results of this study have potential implications for public health approaches to facilitate vaccine acceptance.