health behavior

INTRODUCTION

The increase in childhood vaccination rates in the United States during the past decade has been a major success. Among children aged 19 to 35 months, 78% had completed 4 or more doses of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine (DTP), 3 or more doses of poliovirus vaccine, and 1 or more doses of measles containing vaccine (MMR)-4:3:1 series in when children should have received all of the vaccines on the Recommended Child Immunization Schedule, only 59% of children nationally had completed the 4:3:1 series. And, among poor, urban children, studies have shown that the percentages of children completing the 4:3:1 recommended primary childhood immunization series by 19 months of age is extremely low and by 24 months of age, only 54% of the children in these studies had completed the 4:3:1 series. In order to improve the delivery of preventive health care, especially in poor, urban communities, it is first necessary to understand the cultural and social norms and beliefs of these communities. In addition, there is a need to understand more about how the quality of communication between a provider and patient contributes to health disparities.

A number of studies have addressed or reviewed parental beliefs about vaccination. However, relatively few of these studies specifically address the beliefs of disadvantaged, inner-city parents and few compare beliefs with immunization status. Yet, understanding the beliefs of poor, urban parents, and how they affect immunization behavior, is a prerequisite to the design and implementation of effective communication programs for this audience. canadian pharmacy online

This article summarizes the results of a study of parents of urban, low-income preschool children regarding their conceptualization of childhood diseases and prevention and factors associated with late receipt of vaccines.