Female pharmacist shows mom and young girl how to use inhaler.

Can Motivational Interviewing Influence Parental Decisions About Vaccines?

May 10, 2019

How do parents make decisions about whether or not they will vaccinate their children? A team of pharmacists is researching the answer to that question.

Researching the way in which patients make decisions is just one way that Cedarville is bringing positive, disruptive change to American healthcare. Motivational interviewing is yielding fresh insight.

Examining How Parents Make Decision About Vaccines

Last year, Dr. Justin Cole, Vice Chair of Pharmacy Practice in the Cedarville University Doctor of Pharmacy program, and Dr. Aleda Chen, Assistant Dean of Pharmacy Practice, had a short conversation about how parents make decisions regarding vaccines for their children. That conversation prompted research into published studies on the topic, and they found a gap in the research.

Researching the way in which patients make decisions is just one way that Cedarville is bringing positive, disruptive change to American healthcare.

Cole and Chen, along with professional pharmacy students, are now in the midst of a grant-funded research study on how motivational interviewing may influence parental decision-making in this critical area of healthcare. They are examining how parents of children 6 years old and younger make decisions about vaccines, with the goal of creating a tool to help them make the best choice via motivational interviewing.

Understanding Parents’ Reasoning and Thinking Styles

Motivational interviewing is a collaborative conversation between healthcare providers and their patient. Patients are encouraged to do most of the talking so healthcare providers can understand their reasoning and thinking styles, not just their decision-making. This approach could be a tool for healthcare providers of all types to speak with families with whom they’ve built relationships.

“It is important for the Cedarville University School of Pharmacy to engage in these kinds of studies because we value innovation in teaching, service, and scholarship,” said Cole. “We hope to answer healthcare questions and solve complex healthcare problems in novel ways. We have a sincere desire to serve others with excellence, and part of that is improving healthcare. These studies also give students in our pharmacy program a unique opportunity to participate in research and author scientific papers before they graduate.”

 

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