Knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of family physicians about childhood vaccinations that are not in the routine vaccination schedule: A cross-sectional study


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Avcl D., Kuş C., Gümüştakim R. Ş., AYHAN BAŞER D., Eryilmaz M. E.

Primary Health Care Research and Development, vol.24, no.2, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s1463423622000688
  • Journal Name: Primary Health Care Research and Development
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: family physicians, HPV, meningococcus, rotavirus, vaccine
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press.Aim: In our country, there are childhood vaccinations that are not included in the routine vaccination schedule and that families have to buy and have for a fee. In addition to income level, family physicians' recommendations also play a major role in getting these vaccines. Our study was planned to determine the level of knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of family physicians about rotavirus, HPV and meningococcal vaccines, which are not included in the routine vaccination scheme of the Ministry of Health. Materials and Methods: Our cross-sectional and descriptive study was carried out between May and July 2019. The population of our study consists of approximately 30Â 000 family physicians working as Family Physicians in Turkey. When the sample size is calculated with 5% margin of error and 95% confidence interval, it turns out to be 381. A 15-question questionnaire prepared by scanning the literature and including socio-demographic characteristics was presented to the participants. The Likert scale, which includes 12 questions about rotavirus, meningococcus, HPV and vaccines developed for these microorganisms, was administered to physicians either face-To-face or via the internet. In our study, the statistical significance level was accepted as P < 0.05, and the SPSS statistical package program was used in the calculations. Results: 81 Research Assistants, 62 Family Medicine Specialists and 234 Family Physicians participated in our study, and the participants were determined by simple random sampling method. The mean age of the participating physicians was 37.96 ± 9.3 (min: 25 and max: 68). 50.9% of the physicians were women, 79.8% were married, 85.1% were in the city center, and 62.1% were practicing family medicine as general practitioners. 74.82% of the participating physicians recommend rotavirus and 56.2% HPV vaccines to their patients. 10.6% (40 people) of the physicians participating in our study did not recommend any of the rotavirus, HPV, meningococcal, influenza and adult pertussis vaccines to their patients. In the evaluation of the reason for this, 58.7% (27 people) of physicians who did not recommend special vaccines state that they did not recommend vaccines because they are not included in the routine vaccination schedule of the Ministry of Health. Another important reason was that the vaccines are paid (30.4%, 14 people). To the question of having sufficient information about special vaccines that are not included in the routine vaccination schedule, 26% of the participants stated that they have sufficient knowledge, and 56.5% stated that they have partial knowledge. The Likert knowledge questions total score of those who recommended at least one vaccine to their patients was significantly higher than those who did not recommend it at all. Likert knowledge questions total score of those who had at least one vaccination was significantly higher than those who never had it (P = 0.001). Conclusion: In general, as the level of knowledge about private vaccines decreases, the rates of self-vaccination, recommending it to their patients, and asking it to be included in the national vaccine schedule decrease. For this reason, increasing the knowledge of physicians about vaccines not included in the national vaccination schedule will contribute to the dissemination of vaccines, thus increasing immunity and reducing mortality and morbidity.