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Doctors Given Tactics How to Influence Parents’ Decisions About Vaccines

Author // Jeanne Ohm, DC

This newly published article in Pediatrics titled, Pediatrician’s Verbal Cues Affect Decision to Vaccinate reveals that pro-vaccine medical providers are relying on contrived communication tactics to sway undecided parents into vaccinating their kids.

From the paper: ” The approach a physician uses to discuss vaccinations plays a significant role in whether or not parents choose to have their child vaccinated at that visit… ”

When providers use a presumptive dialog, in other words, a matter-of -fact, intimidating type of dialog,  parents conceded to vaccinating more frequently. When a provider used a participatory type dialog, in other words, engaging the parent in the discussion, parents opted out more frequently from vaccinating.

From the paper: “A provider was using a presumptive format when he or she presumed that the parent would be willing to have the child vaccinated that day (eg, “Well, we have to do some shots”). Providers who used a participatory linguistic format (eg, “What do you want to do about shots?” “Are we going to do shots today?”) gave the parent more decision-making latitude.”

If the parent approached the provider with questions and concerns opening up a participatory type of dialog, if the provider turned the interaction into a presumptive format, many of those parents gave up.

From the paper: “Half of the providers handled parental resistance by repeating their original recommendations (eg, “He really needs these shots”), and when that happened, almost half (47%) of parents who were initially resistant then accepted those recommendations.”

Although the paper does not outright recommend which tactic the provider take, they do admit this has been studied before in other areas of medical treatment, so this “intent to influence” has been around a while in medical care.

In another paper, Parental Fears Over Childhood Vaccination Must Be Addressed, it is clear that the number of parents questioning the medical system is becoming a major concern. This is another whole topic in itself, but very briefly, do not make your choices from “fearing the effects of vaccines” make your choices from a confidence that the body’s immune system out-performs any vaccine. If you are not quite fully assured,  boost your confidence by realizing that the scientific literature does not substantiate many rhetorical recommendations for vaccinations. An interesting article published in Prevent Disease titled, “Nine Questions that Stump Every Pro-Vaccine Advocate and Their Claims” is listed below for your access.

Loose the fear— it is a powerless place. In a state of fear, you are vulnerable to intimidation.

Instead… become informed, be confident, choose wisely.

It is our human right for Informed Choice. If you want to read more on this, read our Pathways Article: Opting Out: The Moral Right to Religious and Conscientious-Belief Exemptions to Vaccination  By Barbara Loe Fischer of NVIC. Powerful article. Use it. Print it. Share it.

Be aware that the Pediatrician you choose may be relying on intimidation by intentionally undermining your “decision making latitude.” If that is the case, they are disrespecting your rights for informed choice. If so, find another as quickly as possible…it is your family, your life, your choice.

1-All Informed Choice Articles in Pathways:

2-Nine Questions that Stump Every Pro-Vaccine Advocate and Their Claims:

2- Pediatrician’s Verbal Cues Affect Decision to Vaccinate

3-Parental Fears Over Childhood Vaccination Must Be Addressed

Jeanne Ohm, DC

Dr. Jeanne Ohm has practiced family wellness care since 1981 with her husband, Dr. Tom. They have six children who were all born at home and are living the chiropractic family wellness lifestyle.

Dr. Ohm is an instructor, author, and innovator. Her passion is: training DC’s with specific techniques for care in pregnancy, birth & infancy, forming national alliances for chiropractors with like-minded perinatal practitioners, empowering mothers to make informed choices, and offering pertinent patient educational materials.