Psychosocial determinants of parents' intention to vaccinate their newborn child against hepatitis B

I.A. Harmsen*, M.S. Lambooij, R.A.C. Ruiter, L. Mollema, J. Veldwijk, Y. van Weert, G. Kok, T.G.W.M. Paulussen, G.A. de Wit, H.E.R. de Melker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


From October 2011, The Netherlands started to vaccinate all newborns against hepatitis B. The aim of the present study was to get insight in the psychosocial factors that determine parents' intention to vaccinate their child against hepatitis B, and to test whether intention to vaccinate is a good predictor of actual vaccination behaviour. In total, 2000 parents of newborns (0-2 weeks old) received a self-report questionnaire measuring intention towards hepatitis B vaccination and its psychosocial determinants (response rate 45.6%). Participants were invited for follow-up research and subsequently offered the opportunity to have their child vaccinated against hepatitis B. The findings showed that the large majority of parents intend to vaccinate their child against hepatitis B. The intention to vaccinate was most strongly determined by parents' attitude towards hepatitis B vaccination, which in turn was positively associated with perceived benefits of the vaccination and perceptions of the child's susceptibility to hepatitis B. The majority of the 246 parents that accepted the invitation for a follow-up study had their child vaccinated (83.7%). Intention was found to be a significant predictor of vaccination behaviour although less strong than expected. It is concluded that Dutch parents were positive towards hepatitis B vaccination in terms of both intention and behaviour. To further sustain parents' positive attitudes towards hepatitis B vaccination, educational campaigns should strengthen the benefits of vaccination along with emphasizing the child's risk to hepatitis B infection. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4771-4777
Number of pages7
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2012


  • Childhood vaccination
  • Hepatitis B
  • Psychosocial determinants
  • Parents
  • Newborns

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