Motivational interviewing for vaccine hesitant parents
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BACKGROUND: The widespread use of vaccines led to significant decline in multiple potentially fatal infectious diseases. Recently, there has been an increase in vaccine hesitancy. Measles and pertussis outbreaks throughout the United States have put a spotlight on this urgent healthcare issue. Motivational interviewing is a counseling tactic that is gaining popularity and is being studied for its efficacy in preventative medicine and psychological disorders. It aims to inspire people to make behavioral changes through collaborative relationships with their provider by understanding how current actions do not translate into their health goals. LITERATURE REVIEW FINDINGS: Vaccine hesitancy is growing. Communities with decreased immunization rates are associated with a higher risk of disease outbreak. Increasing rates of undervaccinated children are likely due to increases in non-medical exemptions. Many parents, regardless of their vaccine hesitancy status, are concerned about vaccine safety. Vaccine hesitant parents refuse vaccines due to philosophical and religious beliefs, conspiracy theories, and safety concerns. Parents feel that providers do not adequately address their concern. Providers report not having the training to discredit parental concerns. The majority of parents describe their child’s pediatrician as their most trusted source of vaccine information. Parents who receive vaccine information from a provider are more likely to comply with the recommended childhood vaccine schedule. The most efficient way to discuss vaccines with parents has yet to be determined. PROPOSED PROJECT: This is a proposed QI research project for the Pediatric Clinic at Boston Medical Center. Providers would be trained in motivational interviewing during several sessions that included lectures and small group practice sessions with systematic feedback. During the intervention, parents who refuse vaccines for their child, aged 0-6 years old, will receive motivational interviewing from the provider. The proportion of the vaccine hesitant parents who accept the offered vaccine after will be analyzed. The pre and post intervention vaccination rates for the entire clinic will also be assessed. Data collection will be preformed through retrospective chart review. The project aims to increase provider confidence on vaccine counseling, educate providers on reasons for hesitancy, and improve compliance with the CDC recommended vaccine schedule. CONCLUSION: While most Americans continue to vaccinate their children according to the CDC’s recommended schedule, constant vigilance is required to maintain high immunization rates to protect our communities. Motivational interviewing is goal-oriented to alter a specific behavior and would allow providers to engage in an open, persuasive dialogue about parental vaccine concerns.
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