Face to face interventions for informing or educating parents about early childhood vaccination (Review)

Jessica Kaufman, Anneliese Synnot, Rebecca Ryan, Sophie Hill, Dell Horey, Natalie Willis, Vivian Lin, Priscilla Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Childhood vaccination (also described as immunisation) is an important and effective way to reduce childhood illness and death. However, there are many children who do not receive the recommended vaccines because their parents do not know why vaccination is important, do not involving a total of 2978 participants. Three studies were conducted in low- or middle-income countries and four were conducted in high-income countries. The cluster RCT did not contribute usable data to the review. The interventions comprised a mix of single-session and multi-session strategies. The quality of the evidence for each outcome was low to very low and the studies were at moderate risk of bias overall. All these trials compared face to face interventions directed to individual parents with control.The three studies assessing the effect of a single-session intervention on immunisation status could not be pooled due to high heterogeneity. The overall result is uncertain because the individual study results ranged from no evidence of effect to a significant increase in immunisation.Two studies assessed the effect of a multi-session intervention on immunisation status. These studies were also not pooled due to heterogeneity and the result was very uncertain, ranging from a non-significant decrease in immunisation to no evidence of effect.The two studies assessing the effect of a face to face intervention on knowledge or understanding of vaccination were very uncertain and were not pooled as data from one study were skewed. However, neither study showed evidence of an effect on knowledge scores in the intervention group. Only one study measured the cost of a case management intervention. The estimated additional cost per fully immunised child for the intervention was approximately eight times higher than usual care.The review also considered the following secondary outcomes: intention to vaccinate child, parent experience of intervention, and adverse effects. No adverse effects related to the intervention were measured by any of the included studies, and there were no data on the other outcomes of interest. The limited evidence available is low quality and suggests that face to face interventions to inform or educate parents about childhood vaccination have little to no impact on immunisation status, or knowledge or understanding of vaccination. There is insufficient evidence to comment on the cost of implementing the intervention, parent intention to vaccinate, parent experience of the intervention, or adverse effects. Given the apparently limited effect of such interventions, it may be feasible and appropriate to incorporate communication about vaccination into a healthcare encounter, rather than conduct it as a separate activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-91
Number of pages91
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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