|IJMDC. 2021; 5(2): 503-510
Parents' knowledge, attitude, and practice toward influenza immunization of children aged 6-60 months: a cross-sectional survey study at a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaAtheer A. Alkhunein, Hadeel S. Ghazal, Lamia A. Alkhonain, Ahmed A. Alkhazi, Abdulaziz S. Almalki, Amal A. Yousif.
Background: One of the most common seasonal respiratory tract infectious diseases that cause a high morbidity and mortality rate is influenza. Vaccination is the mainstay to alleviate influenza outbreaks and disease severity. Thereby, this study aimed to assess parental knowledge, attitudes, and practice toward seasonal influenza vaccination of their children aged 6-60 months at a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study conducted between the period of 2017 and 2018. All parents of children aged 6-60 months and who were medically free were potential candidates for this study. The level of knowledge was assessed using the knowledge scoring system. Participants who scored 5 and >5 were classified as having inadequate or excellent level of knowledge, respectively.
Results: A total of 369 participants were included in the analysis. The overall knowledge of the participants was inadequate since only 16% of the participants scored >5. However, their attitude was positive. Almost 239 (64.8%) expressed intent to immunize their children against influenza. The most common barrier that prevented parents from vaccinating their children was worrying about the adverse effects of the vaccines (36%). There was a correlation between intention to immunize and parents knowledge and awareness.
Conclusion: The attitude of the parents of children aged 6-60 months toward the seasonal influenza vaccine was positive; however, their knowledge was insufficient. Pediatricians and other healthcare professionals should be encouraged to be more involved in educating the population to broadly address misperceptions and promote vaccination.
Key words: Influenza, immunization, children, knowledge, attitude