From the Journals

Parent education improves pediatric influenza vaccination rates



A brief educational handout about influenza and vaccination prior to seeing a health care provider increased pediatric vaccination rates by the season’s end, according to a randomized clinical trial published in Pediatrics.

A young girl receives a vaccine in a doctor's office Dzurag/iStock/Getty Images

Vanessa P. Scott, MD, MS, of Columbia University, New York, and colleagues randomized 400 parent-child dyads into any of three arms: receiving a handout based on national data, receiving a handout based on local data, or receiving usual care. This convenience sample was drawn from two pediatric clinics in New York between August 2016 and March 2017.

After adjustment for parents’ education level, the trial found that parents who received either handout were significantly more likely than were those receiving usual care to vaccinate their children by the end of season (75% and 65%, respectively; adjusted odds ratio, 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-2.67), but the effects of any intervention versus those of usual care on vaccination on day of visit were not statistically significant (59% vs. 53%; aOR, 1.36; 95% CI, 0.89-2.09).The researchers had hoped that using a targeted approach based on local data would increase vaccine receipt, but that was not seen in the results.

They did find that, across all three arms in the trial, baseline parental intent to vaccinate (likely versus unlikely) was associated with vaccination rates: Both vaccination on clinic visit day (70% vs. 22%; aOR, 8.38; 95% CI, 4.85-14.34) and vaccination by end of season (87% vs. 29%; aOR, 18.26; 95% CI, 9.94-33.52) were affected.

Strengths of the study included the randomized, controlled design and assessment of baseline factors, such as intention to vaccinate, to reduce confounding effects. Limitations included use of a convenience sample, which could have introduced selection bias.

One author was an unremunerated coinvestigator of an unrelated trial that received an investigator-initiated grant from the Pfizer Medical Education Group. Two authors were funded by other grants, but no potential conflicts of interests to disclose were indicated by any of the authors in this study.

SOURCE: Scott VP et al. Pediatrics. 2019. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-2580.

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