Interactive web platform increases rates of vaccinations

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Pregnant women who received vaccine information through an interactive website were more likely to vaccinate their children, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Vaccinating children is a first step in preventing dangerous diseases like the measles and polio, but some parents choose to forego these protections. This study, which built upon previous studies into raising vaccination rates, evaluated the effectiveness of an educational interactive website in increasing the number of parents that vaccinate their children.

The study enrolled 888 pregnant women from 2013 to 2016 who were split into groups either receiving a website with vaccine information and interactive social media features (VSM), the website with vaccine information (VI) or conventional care (UC). The website contained easy-to-access information on the risk and benefits of vaccination, vaccination schedules and vaccine ingredients and law. Additionally, the website had an expert-moderated blog, discussion forums, chat rooms and a portal where parents could ask an expert questions regarding vaccinations.

Results were collected from the infant's birth to 200 days old and found that children of VSM parents were twice as likely to be on schedule with all recommended infant vaccinations than UC infants.

"The results of this study suggest websites with interactive components have the potential to complement face-to-face clinical interactions," said Jason Glanz, PhD, lead study author and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research. "It's well known that patients use the internet to obtain health care information. Clinicians can combat misinformation by giving patients access to websites that are clinically accurate, engaging and offer ways to communicate with experts and other patients about their concerns."