The relation between digital literacy, cyberchondria, and parents' attitudes to childhood vaccines

Ustuner Top F., Çevik C., BORA GÜNEŞ N.

Journal of Pediatric Nursing, vol.70, pp.12-19, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pedn.2023.01.006
  • Journal Name: Journal of Pediatric Nursing
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.12-19
  • Keywords: Childhood vaccines, Cyberchondria, Digital literacy, Severity, Vaccination hesitancy
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2023 Elsevier Inc.Purpose: This study aimed to examine the relationship between digital literacy, cyberchondria and parents' hesitancy about childhood vaccines. Design and methods: The study was cross-sectional, and parents with children aged 3–5 years who had access to the questionnaire were sent online and volunteered to participate. Results: The total mean score of the Parents' Attitude to Childhood Vaccines Scale was 44.89 ± 14.99, 31.3% of the parents were hesitant about childhood vaccines. Parental hesitancy about childhood vaccinations was 3.26 times (95% CI, 1.56–6.81) for single participants and 2.77 times (95% CI, 1.33–5.74) for the participants with a high school diploma than primary school graduates, 4.69 times for the participants who did not have a healthcare professional in their family (95% CI, 2.08–10.59), 16.02 times (95% CI, 6.61–10.80) for the participants who did not have a full round of vaccines, 1.81 times higher (95% CI, 1.13–2.88) than the participants who did not have enough information about vaccines. Hesitancy increased as the cyberchondria severity score increased (95% CI, 1.02–1.09), and digital literacy decreased (95% CI, 0.34–0.87). Conclusions: One-third of the parents had hesitations about childhood vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy is affected negatively by digital literacy and positively by cyberchondria. Practice implication: Meeting parents' accurate and reliable vaccine information will positively affect their attitudes and behaviours. Therefore, the level of cyberchondria among parents should be reduced, and their digital literacy should be increased.