The knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of midwives on the vaccination coverage rates in Perth’s Aboriginal children
BMC Public Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery / School of Medical and Health Sciences / Kurongkurl Katitjin
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021
Communicable Disease Control Directorate, Western Australian Department of Health
Midwives are well placed to promote vaccination awareness throughout a women’s pregnancy and strengthen childhood vaccination demand following hospital discharge. In Perth, Western Australia, Aboriginal children experience some of the lowest vaccination coverage rates across the nation. To identify factors preventing greater vaccination uptake amongst the target population, a theory-based study was conducted with midwives across two Perth maternity hospitals to explore behavioural attributes, knowledge, attitudes and beliefs surrounding vaccination provision and the vaccines administered to Aboriginal children.
A purpose-designed questionnaire was distributed to midwives working in two Perth public maternity hospitals. The proximal constructs of The Theory of Planned Behavior were used to frame the questionnaire to enable the barriers to greater vaccination coverage to be identified and behaviourally situated. Descriptive statistics described the demographics of the study sample. Chi-square and the Fisher’s exact test were used to identify associations between midwife characteristics and awareness of the coverage rates. Significance was set at α = 0.05.
Of the 58 midwives who completed the study questionnaire, 77.2% were unaware of the sub-optimal vaccination coverage in Perth’s Aboriginal children. Level of education (p = 0.53) and years worked as a practising midwife (p = 0.47) were not found to be associated with an awareness of the coverage rates. Approximately, 50% of midwives reported some concern over the efficacy of childhood vaccines, 44.4% did not feel confident with their knowledge of vaccines, while 33.3% do not routinely discuss childhood vaccinations with parents prior to hospital discharge.
Key findings in the study identified that a range of educational, leadership and system-based issues are affecting midwives’ capacity to play a more substantial role in influencing vaccination coverage in Perth’s Aboriginal children.
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Carman, R., Andrew, L., & Devine, A. (2021). The knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of midwives on the vaccination coverage rates in Perth’s Aboriginal children. BMC Public Health, 21, Article 1845.