U-M study: Parents trust physicians most on information about vaccine safety
Gary L. Freed, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit
Most parents get their information about vaccines from their children's physicians, but some also consider public health officials, other parents, friends and family members and even celebrities as sources of vaccine information.
These are the results of a national survey conducted by University of Michigan researchers to determine how much parents trust different sources of information in regards to vaccination.
The results of this study were published this past April in the journal Pediatrics.
"Parents get information about children's vaccines from many sources," says Gary L. Freed, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit. "The source parents trusted most is their children's doctor."
Researchers surveyed 1,552 parents of children ages 17 years and younger on topics including parental trust of sources of information about vaccines.
A majority of parents reported trusting their child's doctor 'a lot' (76%). Other sources trusted 'a lot' by parents were other health care providers (26%) and government vaccine experts/officials (23%). Trust also varied by race/ethnicity: white and Hispanic parents were more likely than black parents to trust family and friends 'a lot' or 'some,' and Hispanic parents were more likely than white or black parents to trust celebrities 'a lot' or 'some' for vaccine-safety information.
"Those who design public health efforts to provide evidence-based information must recognize that different strategies may be required to reach all groups of parents," says Freed. The research was conducted as part of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.
In addition to Freed, other authors include Sarah J.
Clark, M.P.H., Amy T. Butchart, M.P.H., Dianne C.
Singer, M.P.H, and Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P.,
of the University of Michigan
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Citation: "Sources and Perceived Credibility of Vaccine-Safety Information for Parents," Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1722P
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