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Factors influencing parental compliance with the preschool children’s immunization schedule Symonds, Barbara Dianne

Abstract

The control of communicable diseases in children is an important public health role. With the availability of effective vaccines, the conquest of many childhood diseases is possible. However, the success of the present immunization programs rests ultimately with the parents, who are responsible for ensuring that their children's immunization status is complete. Many factors can influence this parental compliance. The parents of kindergarten students in two suburban communities completed a questionnaire on immunizations and family characteristics. The questionnaire was constructed using items submitted from a panel of public health nurses and from the literature. A pretest was conducted.. The total' number of questionnaires returned by the deadline was 376. Data on preschool children's immunization status were also collected from health unit records. Analyses of the data included frequency distributions, contingency table analyses, factor analysis, and discriminant analysis. The major findings of the study were: 1. There was a difference between preschool children's recorded immunization status according to health unit statistics and the national standard. 2. There was a discrepancy between preschool children's immunization status as reported by parents and as recorded in health unit statistics. There was not a significant relationship between parental education level, family mobility, family socio-economic level, family composition, or parental knowledge of immunizations and preschool children's reported immunization status. 4. There was a significant relationship between a positive parental attitude toward immunization and completed preschool children's reported immunization status. 5. There was a significant relationship amongst the variables. High family mobility, a low educational level for the father, an incomplete parental immunization status, and a feeling of lack of knowledge about immunizations were discriminatory for a reported incomplete immunization status. As well mobility, education-income, family composition and attitude best accounted for the relationship amongst the variables on factor analysis Implications for nursing practise are discussed and recommendations for further research are suggested.

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