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Risk language preferred by mothers in considering a hypothetical new vaccine for their children

, : Risk language preferred by mothers in considering a hypothetical new vaccine for their children. Cmaj 147(7): 1013-1017

Objectives: To determine the type of risk language preferred by mothers considering the use of a hypothetical new vaccine for their children and to compare their choice with what their physicians perceived they would prefer. Design: Mail survey. Setting: Thirteen family practices in southwestern Ontario (Canada). Participants: Women with at least one child between the ages of 6 months and 5 years and their physicians. Main outcome measures: Preferred risk language and physicians' predictions about patient preference. Results: Of the 226 women sent the questionnaire 208 (92%) responded. Of the 192 who indicated their risk language preference 119 (61%) chose a numeric statement. Of the 11 physicians who answered the question 8 (73%) predicted that their patients would prefer non-numeric statements. Although the women in the study were more likely to be married, were better educated and had higher family incomes than women of the same age in the Ontario population, risk language preference was not found to be related to any of those demographic characteristics. Conclusion: Physicians must be prepared to outline the risks associated with vaccination in both quantitative and qualitative terms.


PMID: 1393896

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