Development of a survey to identify vaccine-hesitant parents: The parent attitudes about childhood vaccines survey

Douglas J. Opel, Rita Mangione-Smith, James A. Taylor, Carolyn Korfiatis, Cheryl Wiese, Sheryl L Catz, Diane P. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop a survey to accurately assess parental vaccine hesitancy. Results: The initial survey contained 17 items in 4 content domains: (1) immunization behavior; (2) beliefs about vaccine safety and efficacy; (3) attitudes about vaccine mandates and exemptions; and (4) trust. Focus group data yielded an additional 10 survey items. Expert review of the survey resulted in the deletion of 9 of 27 items and revisions to 11 of the remaining 18 survey items. Parent pretesting resulted in the deletion of 1 item, the addition of 1 item, the revision of 4 items, and formatting changes to enhance usability. The final survey contains 18 items in the original 4 content domains. Methods: An iterative process was used to develop the survey. First, we reviewed previous studies and surveys on parental health beliefs regarding vaccination to develop content domains and draft initial survey items. Focus groups of parents and pediatricians generated additional themes and survey items. Six immunization experts reviewed the items in the resulting draft survey and ranked them on a 1-5 scale for significance in identifying vaccine-hesitant parents (5 indicative of a highly significant item). The lowest third of ranked items were dropped. The revised survey was pretested with 25 parents to assess face validity, usability and item understandability. Conclusions: The Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines survey was constructed using qualitative methodology to identify vaccine-hesitant parents and has content and face validity. Further psychometric testing is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHuman Vaccines
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Pediatrics
  • Preventive health services
  • Public health practice
  • Questionnaires
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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