Barriers to childhood immunisation: Findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children

Pearce, A. , Marshall, H., Bedford, H. and Lynch, J. (2015) Barriers to childhood immunisation: Findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Vaccine, 33(29), pp. 3377-3383. (doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.04.089) (PMID:26003493) (PMCID:PMC4503793)

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Objectives: To examine barriers to childhood immunisation experienced by parents in Australia. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of secondary data. Setting: Nationally representative Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Participants: Five thousand one hundred seven infants aged 3–19 months in 2004. Main outcome measure: Maternal report of immunisation status: incompletely or fully immunised. Results: Overall, 9.3% (473) of infants were incompletely immunised; of these just 16% had mothers who disagreed with immunisation. Remaining analyses focussed on infants whose mother did not disagree with immunisation (N = 4994) (of whom 8% [398] were incompletely immunised). Fifteen variables representing potential immunisation barriers and facilitators were available in LSAC; these were entered into a latent class model to identify distinct clusters (or ‘classes’) of barriers experienced by families. Five classes were identified: (1) ‘minimal barriers’, (2) ‘lone parent, mobile families with good support’, (3) ‘low social contact and service information; psychological distress’, (4) ‘larger families, not using formal childcare’, (5) ‘child health issues/concerns’. Compared to infants from families experiencing minimal barriers, all other barrier classes had a higher risk of incomplete immunisation. For example, the adjusted risk ratio (RR) for incomplete immunisation was 1.51 (95% confidence interval: 1.08–2.10) among those characterised by ‘low social contact and service information; psychological distress’, and 2.47 (1.87–3.25) among ‘larger families, not using formal childcare’. Conclusions: Using the most recent data available for examining these issues in Australia, we found that the majority of incompletely immunised infants (in 2004) did not have a mother who disagreed with immunisation. Barriers to immunisation are heterogeneous, suggesting a need for tailored interventions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pearce, Dr Anna
Authors: Pearce, A., Marshall, H., Bedford, H., and Lynch, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Vaccine
ISSN (Online):1873-2518
Published Online:21 May 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Vaccine 33(29):3377-3383
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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