Exploring the impact of mental health conditions on vaccine uptake in high-income countries: a systematic review

Anne M Suffel, Oyinkansola Ojo-Aromokudu, Helena Carreira, Sandra Mounier-Jack, David Osborn, Charlotte Warren-Gash, Helen I McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: Vaccination is an essential public health intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases. Despite being at higher at risk of infectious diseases, health inequalities towards vaccine uptake in people with mental health issues have not been systematically appraised.

METHODS: We searched 7 databases from 1994 to 26/03/2021. We included all studies with a relative measure of effect comparing a group with a mental health issue to a control group. All studies covering any mental health issue were eligible with no constraints to study population, vaccine type or region, provided in a high-income country for comparability of health care systems. The study outcomes were synthesised by study population, mental health issue and type of vaccine.

RESULTS: From 4,069 titles, 23 eligible studies from 12 different countries were identified, focusing on adults (n = 13) or children (n = 4) with mental health issues, siblings of children with mental health issues (n = 2), and mothers with mental health issue and vaccine uptake in their children (n = 6). Most studies focused on depression (n = 12), autism, anxiety, or alcoholism (n = 4 respectively). Many studies were at high risk of selection bias.

DISCUSSION: Mental health issues were associated with considerably lower vaccine uptake in some contexts such as substance use disorder, but findings were heterogeneous overall and by age, mental health issue or types of vaccine. Only individuals with mental health issues and physical comorbidities had consistently higher uptake in comparison to other adults. Mental health should be considered as a health inequality for vaccine uptake but more context specific research is needed focusing more on specific mental health issues and subgroups of the population to understand who misses vaccination and why.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Child
  • Female
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Developed Countries
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Vaccines
  • Mothers


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