Children's Hospital Colorado

Vaccinations and Motivational Interviewing (S1:E12)

Vaccination is a controversial topic that all pediatricians will encounter during their careers, especially since today's parents have more questions about vaccines than ever before.

While the majority of parents are accepting of vaccination, many others have more detailed questions and concerns about vaccines. Additionally, a small minority of parents are strongly anti-vaccine. If you encounter parents from the latter two groups, be prepared to spend more time discussing vaccination during the well-child visit.

Ultimately, parents simply want to do what they feel is best for their child's health and well-being. With so much misinformation available online, parents appreciate a pediatrician who can help them separate fact from fiction where vaccine safety is concerned.

Listen to our pediatric experts discuss vaccination safety, vaccine resistance and more

In this episode, Sean O'Leary, MD, joins Charting Pediatrics to discuss vaccine safety and vaccine resistance from parents. He also shares some helpful tips about motivational interviewing techniques that pediatricians can use to help lessen resistance when talking with patients and families.

Dr. O'Leary is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital Colorado and an associate professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is a nationally-recognized expert on vaccine research, and the way he approaches vaccine-resistant and anti-vaccine families is both empathetic and effective.

In this episode, our pediatric experts discuss:

  • How to help families separate good information from misinformation regarding vaccines
  • The prevalence of vaccine resistance and anti-vaccine sentiments among parents
  • How primary care physicians (PCPs) can efficiently and effectively deliver vaccine-related information to concerned parents
  • How the use of motivational interviewing techniques when talking to parents about vaccines can help families overcome vaccine resistance
  • How to pivot the conversation when a parent is resistant to a vaccination plan, including useful tips for dealing with defensive parents
  • Why asking permission to share your expertise is a key component of effective motivational interviewing
  • Some of the top concerns with alternative vaccination schedules, including a lack of research
  • A common anecdote that can be used to explain the downsides of an alternative vaccination schedule
  • Additional techniques PCPs can use when speaking to parents about the relative risks of vaccines, including tips for avoiding arguments
  • The types of vaccines that receive the most resistance and hesitancy from families, including the influenza vaccine, HPV vaccine and the hepatitis B birth dose

Childhood vaccines at Children's Colorado

At Children's Colorado, our Primary Care Department provides comprehensive primary care from birth to young adulthood. Our pediatric experts focus on the whole health of each child, including administering age-appropriate, scientifically-proven vaccinations to keep children healthy and happy. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.