Study: Higher Vaccine Rates Associated with Indicative Language by Provider, More Efficient

January 14, 2021
Jill Murphy, Associate Editor

The new research shows that adolescents are 9 times more likely to receive a vaccine when providers introduce the topic to parents with a simple statement such as “your child is due for vaccines today,” as it results in a shorter vaccine discussion.

New research from Boston Medical Center finds that using clear, unambiguous language when recommending human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination both increases vaccine acceptance and increases conversation efficiency while preserving patient satisfaction, according to a study published in Vaccine.

The new research shows that adolescents are 9 times more likely to receive a vaccine when providers introduce the topic to parents with a simple statement such as “your child is due for vaccines today,” as it results in a shorter vaccine discussion.

The acceptance of HPV and meningococcal vaccine were compared in the study, with the indicated style of language (“you are due for a vaccine”) being compared to the elective style of language (“would you like to vaccinate?”). The indicated style was associated with more efficient visits, allowing patients more time to discuss other health concerns with their provider.

Neither indicative nor elective styles compromised patient satisfaction with the interaction, according to the study authors.

“Patients look to their provider as a source of education on vaccinations, so as providers, we must approach the discussion in a way that most effectively addresses their goals and prioritizes their most pressing health concerns,” said lead study author Rebecca Perkins, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist at Boston Medical Center, in a press release. “At a time where vaccination hesitancy is at an all-time high, these findings can offer further insight into best approaches for discussing vaccination, whether it be for HPV or the more recent COVID-19 vaccines.”

The observational study included 106 conversations between parents, providers, and adolescent patients between January 2016 and March 2018 across 5 sites that were participating in DOSE-HPV, a multi-component intervention to improve HPV vaccination rates. The clinical encounters were audio-recorded and vaccination discussions were transcribed to capture natural patient-provider interactions, according to the study authors.

“We are at a time where educating people on vaccines and the process of vaccination is so important for both individual health and the greater public good,” Perkins said in a press release. “The use of language can make a difference in how likely patients are to accept vaccination, and also how much time providers have to address other health concerns.”

REFERENCE

Study: higher vaccine rates associated with indicative language by provider, more efficient. https://www.bmc.org/news/press-releases/2021/01/12/study-higher-vaccine-rates-associated-indicative-language-provider#:~:text=BOSTON%20%E2%80%93%20New%20research%20from%20Boston,efficiency%20while%20preserving%20patient%20satisfaction. Published January 12, 2021. Accessed January 13, 2021.