Assessing the Accuracy of Parental Recall of Child Immunizations in an Inner-City Population

Published in: Ambulatory Child Health, v. 2, 1997, p. 319-327

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1997

by David L. Wood, Neal Halfon, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Mark Grabowsky, Naihua Duan

This study's objective was to assess the accuracy of parental recall of the child's immunization receipt in the first year of life. It finds that parental recall of full immunization series received during the first year of life is accurate only approximately 50% of the time; however, recall of individual immunizations may be higher. The accuracy of parental recall of child immunizations is quite variable by both the complexity of the recall task and by patient demographic characteristics. The provider can assist parents increase the accuracy of their recall by being very specific in framing recall questions.

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