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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 4, pp e230–e235 | Cite as

“If they tell me to get it, I’ll get it. If they don’t....”: Immunization decision-making processes of immigrant mothers

  • Stephanie P. Kowal
  • Cynthia G. Jardine
  • Tania M. Bubela
Qualitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objective

To understand information-gathering and decision-making processes of immigrant mothers for scheduled childhood vaccines, vaccination during pregnancy, seasonal flu and pandemic vaccination.

Methods

We conducted 23 qualitative semi-structured interviews with immigrated mothers from Bhutanese refugee, South Asian and Chinese communities. Participants lived in Edmonton, Alberta and had at least one child under eight years old. Using NVivo™ qualitative software, we generated an inductive coding scheme through content analysis of interview transcripts.

Results

Our three main findings on information gathering and use in vaccination decisions were: 1 ) participants in all three communities passively received immunization information. Most mothers learned about vaccine practices exclusively from health care practitioners during scheduled visits. Social networks were primary sources of information in origin countries but were lost during immigration to Canada; 2) participants demonstrated universal trust in vaccines (i.e., no anti-vaccination sentiment). They were comfortable in receiving vaccines for themselves and their children, regardless of past adverse reactions; 3) participants’ recollection of the H1N1 vaccination campaign was almost nil, demonstrating the lack of reach of public health vaccination campaigns to designated priority groups (pregnant women and children) in Alberta.

Conclusion

Our results highlight the limitations of Alberta’s current vaccination communication strategies in reaching immigrant women. When immigrant mothers receive vaccination information, our results indicate they will likely follow recommendations. However, our study shows that current communication strategies are not making this information accessible to immigrant women, which limits their ability to make informed vaccination decisions for themselves and their children.

Key words

Immunization information seeking behaviour decision-making immigrants child and maternal health 

Résumé

Objectif

Comprendre les processus de collecte d’information et de prise de décision des mères immigrantes pour la vaccination prévue, la vaccination pendant la grossesse, la grippe saisonnière et la vaccination en période de pandémie.

Méthodes

Nous avons effectué 23 entrevues qualitatives semistructurées avec des mères immigrées des communautés de réfugiés bhoutanais, d’Asie du Sud et chinois. Les participantes vivaient à Edmonton, Alberta, et avaient au moins un enfant de moins de huit ans. Grâce au logiciel qualitatif NVivo™, nous avons généré un schéma de codage inductif au moyen de l’analyse du contenu de la transcription des entrevues.

Résultats

Nos trois principales constatations sur la cueillette et le recours à l’information dans les décisions sur la vaccination étaient: 1) les participantes des trois collectivités recevaient passivement l’information sur l’immunisation. La plupart des mères obtenaient de l’information sur les pratiques de vaccination exclusivement des professionnels de la santé pendant les visites prévues. Les réseaux sociaux étaient la principale source d’information dans le pays d’origine, mais étaient perdus pendant l’immigration au Canada; 2) les participantes avaient une confiance universelle dans les vaccins (c.-à-d. aucun sentiment antivaccin). Elles se sentaient à l’aise de recevoir des vaccins pour elles-mêmes et leurs enfants, quelles qu’aient été les réactions adverses passées; 3) le souvenir qu’avaient les participantes de la campagne de vaccination Hl NI était presque nul, ce qui illustre l’absence de portée des campagnes de vaccination de la santé publique pour les groupes prioritaires désignés (femmes enceintes et enfants) en Alberta.

Conclusion

Nos résultats soulignent le peu d’efficacité des stratégies de communication albertaines actuelles en matière de vaccination à atteindre les femmes immigrantes. Nos résultats indiquent que les mères immigrantes suivront probablement les recommandations lorsqu’elles reçoivent de l’information sur la vaccination. Mais notre étude montre que les stratégies de communication actuelles ne fournissent pas cette information aux femmes immigrantes, ce qui limite leur capacité de prendre des décisions éclairées sur la vaccination pour elles-mêmes et leurs enfants.

Mots Clés

immunisation comportement de recherche d’information prise de décision immigrants santé de l’enfant et de la mère 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie P. Kowal
    • 1
  • Cynthia G. Jardine
    • 1
  • Tania M. Bubela
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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