Development of a survey to quantify parents' priorities for vaccinating children against rotavirus
OBJECTIVES: To identify and understand the importance of reasons mothers of young children would choose to vaccinate their child(ren) against rotavirus and the impact of vaccine features on vaccine choice and uptake.
METHODS: Women with children 5 years of age or younger participated in a focus group and semi-structured interview to: (1) identify reasons they would choose to vaccinate their children against rotavirus independent of the clinical features or cost of the vaccine and (2) identify the clinical vaccine features that would influence their decision to vaccinate their children. A survey instrument was developed to elicit the relative importance of the reasons for vaccination. The survey also included a discrete-choice experiment (DCE) to elicit parents’ preferences for clinical features of hypothetical vaccines and likely uptake of vaccines with different clinical features and cost. The survey instrument was used in 15 in-depth, face-to-face interviews and the findings were used to refine the list of reasons and the clinical vaccine features.
RESULTS: Study participants identified 7 reasons influencing vaccination decisions – work disruptions, child-care disruptions, unplanned expenses, disruptions to routine, concern about child’s discomfort, concern about child’s health in the future, concern about spreading illness – and 6 clinical vaccine features influencing vaccine choice and uptake – number of illnesses prevented, severity of the illnesses prevented, duration of illnesses prevented by vaccine, location of vaccination (home or healthcare location), mode of administration (oral or injection), and age at which protection begins. Cost was also a relevant attribute in these decisions. The reasons for vaccination vary with the severity of illness.
CONCLUSIONS: Deciding to vaccinate a child against rotavirus is the result of a decision process that is influenced by both the impact of rotavirus on the family, the severity of illness, and the clinical characteristics of the vaccine itself.