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BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 336.
Published online May 8, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-336
PMCID: PMC3474181
Paternal education status significantly influences infants’ measles vaccination uptake, independent of maternal education status
Anu Rammohan,1 Niyi Awofeso,corresponding author2,3 and Renae C Fernandez2
1School of Business, Discipline of Economics, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
2School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia
3School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Anzac Pde, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Anu Rammohan: anurammohan/at/uwa.edu.au; Niyi Awofeso: niyi.awofeso/at/uwa.edu.au; Renae C Fernandez: renaefernandez/at/uwa.edu.au
Received December 19, 2011; Accepted May 8, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Despite increased funding of measles vaccination programs by national governments and international aid agencies, structural factors encumber attainment of childhood measles immunisation to levels which may guarantee herd immunity. One of such factors is parental education status. Research on the links between parental education and vaccination has typically focused on the influence of maternal education status. This study aims to demonstrate the independent influence of paternal education status on measles immunisation.
Methods
Comparable nationally representative survey data were obtained from six countries with the highest numbers of children missing the measles vaccine in 2008. Logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the influence of paternal education on uptake of the first dose of measles vaccination, independent of maternal education, whilst controlling for confounding factors such as respondent’s age, urban/rural residence, province/state of residence, religion, wealth and occupation.
Results
The results of the analysis show that even if a mother is illiterate, having a father with an education of Secondary (high school) schooling and above is statistically significant and positively correlated with the likelihood of a child being vaccinated for measles, in the six countries analysed. Paternal education of secondary or higher level was significantly and independently correlated with measles immunisation uptake after controlling for all potential confounders.
Conclusions
The influence of paternal education status on measles immunisation uptake was investigated and found to be statistically significant in six nations with the biggest gaps in measles immunisation coverage in 2008. This study underscores the imperative of utilising both maternal and paternal education as screening variables to identify children at risk of missing measles vaccination prospectively.
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