March 17, 2021

Role of physician-patient communication in vaccination

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

Patients who talk with their physicians are more likely to get vaccinated during a pandemic, finds this study of evidence collected during the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic in 2009.

In this survey of more than 19,000 people nationwide, researchers from Washington State University, Pullman, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that physician-patient communication helped build trust in physicians, which led to more positive attitudes toward the H1N1 vaccine and more people actually getting vaccinated.


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Receiving a vaccine during a pandemic is different from others, like the flu vaccine, which people already know about, the researchers note. During a pandemic, it is a new vaccine for everyone.

The findings show that communication from the physician’s office is an effective strategy, which could be incorporated currently when one in five Americans have an unwillingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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