Adolescent Measles Vaccination
Response Rates to Mailings Addressed to Patients vs Parents
Peter Harper, MD, MPH;
Diane J. Madlon-Kay, MD
Arch Fam Med. 1994;3(7):619-622.
To determine the measles vaccination rate in adolescents that could be achieved with a mailed notification of the recommendation, and to determine if the response rate differed if the mailing was addressed to the parents or to the adolescents.
A family medicine residency training clinic serving a low-socioeconomic population.
Patients or Other Participants
Four hundred forty-nine adolescents aged 12 through 18 years who were seen in the clinic within the previous 21 months without receiving a documented second dose of measles vaccine were randomized into two groups.
A letter recommending measles revaccination was sent to the parents in one group (parent group) and to the adolescents themselves in the second group (adolescent group). The content of both letters was basically the same, but they differed in style and reading level.
Main Outcome Measure
Measles vaccinations administered to adolescents during the 2-month period following mailing of the letters.
Twenty-eight patients were excluded after randomization. Fifty-six letters were undeliverable after two mailing attempts. Eleven (6.3%) of 176 adolescents in the parent group and five (2.6%) of 189 adolescents in the adolescent group received the measles vaccination (P>.05).
Although the adolescents whose parents received the letter were twice as likely to be vaccinated, the response rate was poor in both groups. The letter campaign was not an effective method to reach adolescents for measles revaccination.
From the Department of Family Medicine, St Paul (Minn) Ramsey Medical Center.
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