"To each his own": Discussions of vaccine decision-making in top parenting blogs

Zoë Meleo-Erwin, Corey Basch, Sarah A MacLean, Courtney Scheibner, Valerie Cadorett
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics 2017 August 3, 13 (8): 1895-1901
Although social media provides a way for people to congregate with like-minded others, it can also play a role in spreading misinformation about public health interventions. Previous research demonstrates that parents who use the Internet to gather information on vaccination are more likely to hold anti-vaccination beliefs. There has been little examination of vaccination decision-making discussions on parenting blogs. This study seeks to fill that gap. Posts and comments on the top 25 top parenting blogs were analyzed using a mixed-method approach. Comments were analyzed using deductive coding scheme that examined whether content areas of interest were present or absent in vaccination discussions. Posts were coded inductively using a thematic analysis. Posts and comments were further coded as strongly vaccine-discouraging, vaccine-ambivalent, or strongly vaccine-encouraging. Finally, posts were grouped by year of publication and comments were analyzed within each group to examine the evolution of vaccination decision-making discussions in the parenting blogosphere over the past decade. Fifty-two percent of posts were categorized as strongly vaccine-discouraging and were most commonly associated with expressions of individual liberty. Comments were nearly 3 times as likely to strongly discourage vaccination than to strongly encourage it. Comments on the oldest posts (2006-2009), were more likely to strongly discourage vaccination (p = 0.008), whereas comments on newer posts (2013-2015), were more likely to strongly encourage vaccination (p = 0.003). These findings suggest there is a need for public health professionals to understand the concerns being expressed in these forums, and develop innovative ways to dispel anti-vaccination myths, as these views may create obstacles in the meeting the goals of the public health agenda.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"