Primary care strategies to improve childhood immunisation uptake in developed countries: systematic review

Nia Williams, Helen Woodward, Azeem Majeed, Sonia Saxena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To conduct a systematic review of strategies to optimize immunisation uptake within preschool children in developed countries.

DESIGN: Systematic review.

SETTING: Developed countries

PARTICIPANTS: Preschool children who were due, or overdue, one or more of their routine primary immunisations.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Increase in the proportion of the target population up to date with standard recommended universal vaccinations.

RESULTS: Forty-six studies were included for analysis, published between 1980 and 2009. Twenty-six studies were randomized controlled trials, 11 were before and after trials, and nine were controlled intervention trials. Parental reminders showed a statistically significant increase in immunisation rates in 34% of included intervention arms. These effects were reported with both generic and specific reminders and with all methods of reminders and recall. Strategies aimed at immunisation providers were also shown to improve immunisation rates with a median change in immunisation rates of 7% when reminders were used, 8% when educational programmes were used and 19% when feedback programmes were used.

CONCLUSION: General practitioners are uniquely positioned to influence parental decisions on childhood immunisation. A variety of strategies studied in primary care settings have been shown to improve immunisation rates, including parental and healthcare provider reminders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages20
JournalJRSM short reports
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


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