A Meta-synthesis of Factors that Influence Parental Decisions Regarding Mandatory Vaccinations for Children in the U.S.
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Parents who are vaccine-hesitant and/or refuse vaccines for their children have been on the rise. The CDC reported that the percentage of children between 2001 to 2015 who had no vaccinations by age 2 quadrupled. Understanding the motivations and concerns of parents who refuse vaccines or are hesitant about giving children vaccines is essential in order for improved communication by healthcare providers. A meta-synthesis was conducted using the American Psychological Association’s Journal Article Reporting Standards for qualitative meta-analytic literature reviews. A literature search resulted in 15 qualitative studies that met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Three themes were identified that revealed common parental concerns regarding vaccination of their children. Themes are described as questions that parents expressed across the articles reviewed including, 1. What do I believe? 2. Why so much pressure to vaccinate? and 3. Who will support me? Implications for clinical practice and research are proposed.