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BJM Open

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Communication in medicine, Immunization of children


Introduction A key contributor to under immunisation is parental refusal or delay of vaccines due to vaccine concerns. Many clinicians lack confidence in communicating with vaccine-hesitant parents (VHP) and perceive that their discussions will do little to change parents’ minds. Improving clinician communication with VHPs is critical to increasing childhood vaccine uptake.

Methods and analysis We describe the protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial to test the impact of a novel, multifaceted clinician vaccine communication strategy on child immunisation status. The trial will be conducted in 24 primary care practices in two US states (Washington and Colorado). The strategy is called Presumptively Initiating Vaccines and Optimizing Talk with Motivational Interviewing (PIVOT with MI), and involves clinicians initiating the vaccine conversation with all parents of young children using the presumptive format, and among those parents who resist vaccines, pivoting to using MI. Our primary outcome is the immunisation status of children of VHPs at 19 months, 0 day of age expressed as the percentage of days underimmunised from birth to 19 months for 22 doses of eight vaccines recommended during this interval. Secondary outcomes include clinician experience communicating with VHPs, parent visit experience and clinician adherence to the PIVOT with MI communication strategy.


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