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Clinical Trials Update
July 28, 2015

Communication Training Does Not Influence Vaccine Hesitancy

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;314(4):331. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8469

Training physicians on a novel communication strategy designed to reduce maternal vaccine hesitancy had no effect on mothers’ decisions to delay or refuse immunizations, nor did it improve physicians’ confidence in communicating with parents about early childhood vaccines (Henrikson NB et al. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2014-3199 [published online June 1, 2015]).

The trial randomized 56 clinics in Washington State to either the intervention group (36 clinics) or a control group (26 clinics). A total of 526 pediatricians and family medicine physicians participated in the trial, in which 179 physicians in the intervention group attended a 45-minute didactic presentation and received a link to an online version of the training, printed training materials, monthly electronic newsletters, and advice on specific issues on request. Physicians were trained on an “ask, acknowledge, advise” strategy designed to query parents’ concerns, acknowledge those concerns in an effort to foster a trusting environment, and advise on the benefits and risks of vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases.