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Evaluation of a Vaccine-Communication Tool for Physicians

To evaluate a Kaiser Permanente Northern California physician training tool entitled “Effective Communication without Confrontation” aimed at improving communication with vaccine-hesitant parents, building trust, and alleviating physician stress surrounding vaccination visits. Trainings were held May to July 2015. Pre- and post-training surveys assessed physician comfort and perceived effectiveness in communicating with vaccine-hesitant parents. We measured vaccination coverage at the 2-, 4-, and 6-month well-child visits, and days undervaccinated at 9 months of age. We compared vaccination rates before and after the training. Of 415 physicians who received training, 249 completed post-training surveys. Physicians reported that the training helped them feel “much more or more” comfortable talking with parents who are unsure (72.3%), want to delay (73.9%), or refuse (63.5%) vaccinations and “much more or more” effective at persuading parents who are unsure (67.5%) or want to delay vaccinations (61.4%). They reported feeling “the same or less” effective persuading parents who refuse vaccinations (66.3%). Vaccine coverage remained unchanged and high from before to after the training (95%-96%), as did parent satisfaction with his or her child’s provider (4.73/5.00). The Effective Communication without Confrontation training did not increase vaccine coverage, but did improve physicians’ comfort and perceived effectiveness communicating with most vaccine-hesitant parents and may help to ease potentially stressful vaccination visits.

Authors: Glanternik JR; McDonald JC; Yee AH; Howell Ba A; Saba KN; Mellor RG; Fireman B; Klein NP

J Pediatr. 2020 09;224:72-78.e1. Epub 2020-06-06.

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