Title

Vaccine Hesitancy Counseling-an Educational Intervention to Teach a Critical Skill to Preclinical Medical Students.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-21-2022

Publication Title

Medical Science Educator

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: There has been a recent rise in public perception that vaccines are unsafe, fostering vaccine hesitancy (VH). Few interventions have focused on teaching medical students' communication skills for counseling vaccine-hesitant patients.

METHODS: Our educational intervention, designed for medical students, involved a self-study module followed by an interactive session on VH. Students practiced counseling vaccine-hesitant standardized patients (SPs). Faculty and SPs assessed student counseling skills. Students completed pre- and post-intervention surveys to assess attitudes and preparedness to counsel VH patients.

RESULTS: Students showed a better ability to talk to parents about Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine concerns and Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR)/autism-related issues than to address patients' concerns related to the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) vaccine.Students' surveys pre- and post-intervention revealed significant improvement in their vaccination knowledge and comfort with counseling vaccine-hesitant patients. Student counseling skills as part of an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) showed 73% of students asked about immunization and elicited SP concerns, but only 36% counseled appropriately.

CONCLUSIONS: In the face of emerging VH, physicians play a critical role in advising and influencing vaccination decisions. Therefore, it is a core responsibility of medical educators to train medical students on recommending vaccinations and responding effectively to vaccine-hesitant parents and patients. Our multifaceted interactive session provided preclinical students with knowledge and skills to improve communication skills with VH patients and parents and the need for ongoing practice of these VH counseling skills.

Volume

32

Issue

1

First Page

141

Last Page

147

DOI

10.1007/s40670-021-01495-5

ISSN

2156-8650

PubMed ID

35079448

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