Background High uptake of vaccinations is crucial for disease prevention. Although overall uptake of childhood immunisations is high in the United Kingdom (UK), pockets of lower uptake remain. Novel systematic methods have not been employed when reviewing the qualitative literature examining parents' vaccination decisions. Aims We aimed to conduct a qualitative systematic review of studies in the UK to understand factors influencing parental decisions to vaccinate a child. Methods On 12/2/14 we searched PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL plus, Embase, Social Policy and Practice and Web of Science for studies using qualitative methods and reporting reasons why parents in the UK had or had not immunised their child. Participant quotes and authors' interpretations of qualitative data were extracted from the results of articles. Thematic synthesis was used to develop higher-order themes (conducted in 2015). Results 34 papers were included. Two types of decision-making had been adopted: non-deliberative and deliberative. With non-deliberative decisions parents felt they had no choice, were happy to comply and/or relied on social norms. Deliberative decisions involved weighing up the risks and benefits, considering others' advice/experiences and social judgement. Emotions affected deliberative decision-making. Trust in information and vaccine stakeholders was integral to all decision-making. Practical issues affected those who intended to vaccinate. Conclusions Parents adopted two different approaches to decision-making about childhood vaccinations. By understanding more about the mechanisms underpinning parents' vaccination behaviour, in collaboration with vaccine stakeholders, we can better design interventions to enhance informed uptake. Copyright © 2016 The Authors

  • Europe
  • United Kingdom
  • Parents/caregivers
  • Acceptance
  • Coverage