Researchers Assess Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors of Parents Toward Varicella Vaccination

The aims of this cross-sectional survey by Vezzosi, et al. (2017) were to examine the knowledge, the attitudes and the behavior regarding varicella infection and its vaccination and to get insight into their determinants among parents of children in Italy.

From May to June 2015 in the geographic area of Naples (Italy) a random sample of 675 parents of children aged 4-7 years received a self-administered anonymous questionnaire about socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards varicella and its vaccination.

A total of 414 parents responded to the questionnaire, for a response rate of 61.3%. A history of varicella was reported in 163 children (39.6%). Only 26.6% parents knew that the vaccine was available and the number of doses and this knowledge was significantly higher in those who had a university degree, in those who had received information on the vaccination from a healthcare provider, and in those who had vaccinated their child. The perceived utility toward vaccination had a mean value of 5.7. The positive attitude towards the utility of the vaccination was higher in parents with a level of education not higher than middle school, in those who had vaccinated their child, in those who considered the varicella a dangerous disease, and in those who had received information from a healthcare provider. More than one-third had vaccinated their child. Immunization was more frequent in parents who had knowledge about the vaccination, who beliefs that the immunization was useful, who believed that the disease was not dangerous, and who had not a history of varicella among their children.

The researchers concluded that educational programs are needed among parents as support to improve knowledge about vaccination and immunization coverage.

Reference: Vezzosi L, et al. Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of parents towards varicella and its vaccination. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2017;17:172