Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Objective: To identify behavioural barriers of service provision within general practice that may be impacting the vaccination coverage rates of Aboriginal children in Perth, Western Australia (WA). Methods: A purposive developed survey was distributed to 316 general practices across Perth and three key informant interviews were conducted using a mixed-methods approach. Results: Of the surveyed participants (n=101), 67.4% were unaware of the low vaccination coverage in Aboriginal children; 64.8% had not received cultural sensitivity training in their workplace and 46.8% reported having inadequate time to follow up overdue child vaccinations. Opportunistic vaccination was not routinely performed by 30.8% of participants. Key themes identified in the interviews were awareness, inclusion and cultural safety. Conclusion: Inadequate awareness of the current rates, in association with a lack of cultural safety training, follow-up and opportunistic practice, may be preventing greater vaccination uptake in Aboriginal children in Perth. Cultural safety is a critical component of the acceptability and accessibility of services; lack of awareness may restrict the development of strategies designed to equitably address low coverage. Implications: The findings of this study provide an opportunity to raise awareness among clinicians in general practice and inform future strategies to equitably deliver targeted vaccination services to Aboriginal children.
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