Online Interventions Improve Vaccine Hesitancy

July 3, 2018

An internet-based intervention could help to reduce vaccine hesitancy among parents, according to the results of a recent study published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

In order to assess the effectiveness of an internet-based platform with vaccine information and interactive social media components on vaccine-related attitudes of hesitant parents, researchers conducted a 3-arm randomized controlled trial within a Colorado integrated healthcare organization. Parents were recruited during pregnancy and given a survey about vaccine-related attitudes enrollment and when their children were 3-5 months old (Timepoint 1) and 12-15 months old (Timepoint 2).

The 1093 participants were randomized to one of the following: a website with vaccine information and social media components (VSM arm), a website with vaccine information (VI), or usual care.

Overall, 945 parents completed all 3 surveys. At Timepoint 1, the VSM and VI arms were associated with significant improvements in attitudes toward vaccination benefits compared with usual care. At Timepoint 2, the VSM and VI arms were also associated with significant reduction in parental concern compared with usual care.

“Among vaccine-hesitant parents, an Internet-based intervention improved parents’ attitudes about vaccines,” the researchers concluded.

—Michael Potts

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