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Attitudes towards vaccination: users of complementary and alternative medicine versus non-users


Zuzak, T J; Zuzak-Siegrist, I; Rist, L; Staubli, G; Simões-Wüst, A P (2008). Attitudes towards vaccination: users of complementary and alternative medicine versus non-users. Swiss Medical Weekly, 138(47-48):713-718.

Abstract

PRINCIPLES: Children whose parents use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) often show a lower rate of vaccination than those of parents favouring conventional medicine. We have investigated whether this applies to the paediatric patients presenting to an emergency department in German-speaking Switzerland, where popularity of CAM is rather high. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was performed of paediatric patients presenting to an urban, tertiary paediatric emergency department. 1007 (63%) of the distributed 1600 questionnaires were available for analysis. RESULTS: 12.7% of all respondents reported refusing some basic vaccination: 3.9% because of recommendation of the physician, 8.7% despite their physician's recommendation. Socio-demographic characterisation of the group of patients refusing vaccination showed older age of children, higher proportion of girls, more single-mothers families and decreased household income. Refusal of basic vaccination was significantly more frequent among CAM-users than among non-users (18.2% versus 3.5%, p <0.001). The highest frequencies of refusal were reported by patients who consulted physicians practicing herbal medicine, anthroposophical medicine or homeopathy. Users and non-users of CAM however, showed comparable rates of immunisation in the case of the vaccinations against invasive meningococcal, pneumococcal disease and flu. Surprisingly, the rate for vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis was higher in the CAM-users group than among the non-users (21.2% versus 15.4%, p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: A considerable proportion of the study population did not fully accept basic vaccinations. Refusal to follow the basic vaccination schemata was more frequent among CAM-users than non-users and reflected in most cases parental wishes rather than physicians' recommendations.

Abstract

PRINCIPLES: Children whose parents use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) often show a lower rate of vaccination than those of parents favouring conventional medicine. We have investigated whether this applies to the paediatric patients presenting to an emergency department in German-speaking Switzerland, where popularity of CAM is rather high. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was performed of paediatric patients presenting to an urban, tertiary paediatric emergency department. 1007 (63%) of the distributed 1600 questionnaires were available for analysis. RESULTS: 12.7% of all respondents reported refusing some basic vaccination: 3.9% because of recommendation of the physician, 8.7% despite their physician's recommendation. Socio-demographic characterisation of the group of patients refusing vaccination showed older age of children, higher proportion of girls, more single-mothers families and decreased household income. Refusal of basic vaccination was significantly more frequent among CAM-users than among non-users (18.2% versus 3.5%, p <0.001). The highest frequencies of refusal were reported by patients who consulted physicians practicing herbal medicine, anthroposophical medicine or homeopathy. Users and non-users of CAM however, showed comparable rates of immunisation in the case of the vaccinations against invasive meningococcal, pneumococcal disease and flu. Surprisingly, the rate for vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis was higher in the CAM-users group than among the non-users (21.2% versus 15.4%, p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: A considerable proportion of the study population did not fully accept basic vaccinations. Refusal to follow the basic vaccination schemata was more frequent among CAM-users than non-users and reflected in most cases parental wishes rather than physicians' recommendations.

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22 citations in Web of Science®
25 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:13 Feb 2009 15:07
Last Modified:04 Nov 2016 08:08
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:0036-7672
Official URL:http://www.smw.ch/docs/pdf200x/2008/47/smw-12423.pdf
Related URLs:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/27172/
PubMed ID:19043817

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