1School of Social Work, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel.
Parental hesitancy for recommended childhood vaccines is a growing public health concern influenced by various factors. This study aimed to explore regret regarding parental decisions to vaccinate their children via possible correlations between anticipated regret, altruism, coping strategies, and parents' attitudes toward the vaccination of their children.
The study was conducted during 2014 in Israel. Data were collected via snowballing methodology (i.e., Internet forums, Facebook and e- mails). 314 parents of children ages 0-6 years participated in the study. Questionnaires were distributed and completed on-line including attitudes toward vaccines, altruism, coping strategies, regret and anticipated regret.
Pearson analysis revealed a moderate negative association between attitudes toward vaccinations and regret. In addition, weak but significant positive associations emerged between anticipated regret and regret as well as between gender and regret. Performing hierarchical regression analysis revealed contribution of 35.9 % to the explained variance of regret suggesting that coping strategy of instrumental support, attitudes toward vaccinations and anticipated regret are linked significantly to regret.
Parental attitudes toward vaccines and anticipated regret have a salient role when deciding whether or not to vaccinate children and contribute to the prediction of regret regarding vaccination. In order to increase parental consent to vaccination of their children, it is important to minimize possible regret through the strength of the recommendation and/or knowledge base about risk/benefit (perceived, heuristic) of vaccines that might influence parental attitudes and lessen their anticipated regret.