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Irish Child Health Database - Peer Reviewed Papers

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  • Low immunisation uptake: is the process the problem?

    Published in:

    J Epidemiol Community Health, Vol: 54, Page: 394-400

    Publication Date:

    May 2000

    Aims & Objectives:

    This study examines mothers satisfaction with the process of immunisation and its possible contribution to suboptimal immunisation uptake


    OBJECTIVE: To examine mothers' satisfaction with the process of immunisation and its possible contribution to suboptimal immunisation uptake. DESIGN: In depth interviews with mothers. SETTING: Two Community Care Areas, Dublin city, Ireland. PARTICIPANTS: In depth interviews of 23 mothers of children 1-2 years old, recruited purposively from a birth cohort born in 1994. MAIN RESULTS: Mothers preferred general practice to Health Centre immunisation (11:5) for predominantly emotional compared with practical reasons (4:1). Health Centre immunisation was seen, at times, as unacceptably rough and inhuman. Many mothers experienced severe emotional distress at the prospect of inflicting the pain of immunisation on their babies. The non-empathic stance of some immunising doctors was unacceptable to mothers. They valued attempts by health professionals to acknowledge the pain of immunisation and to engage with their baby. Adverse experiences contributed to deferral of future visits and to defaulting behaviour. CONCLUSIONS: Low empathy mass immunisation in clinic type settings may be unacceptable to mothers in the 1990s, and may in part explain suboptimal uptake in health care systems that use such clinics.


    P. M. Harrington; C. Woodman; W. F. Shannon

    Study Type:

    Study Papers » Qualitative Study » Qualitative Studies


    immunisation satisfaction

    International Classification:




    Republic of Ireland (Dublin City)