Misinformation on vaccines are more common and nurses play a vital role as change agents. Two effective ways to tackle the misinformation are explaining defective argument techniques used to spread the misinformation and emphasizing the scientific agreements on vaccine (Cook, Lewandowsky, & Ecker, 2017). So, my response to the toddlers’ mother is as follows. I would respond by exploring the reason why the mother thinks immunization causes autism, followed by providing educational and scientific resources to change the wrong health belief.
As a community health nurse, once the client verbalizes ofinadequateinformationormisconception, exploring the reason or source is the initial step.The health belief modelandsociallearningtheorywill be beneficial here to formulate an action plan. The mothers have some perception on vaccines, so by giving her additional information her readiness to learn or readiness for change could be assessed.
Larson, Cooper, Z., Eskola, Katz, & Ratzan, (2011), points out that believes in vaccines are not just related to scientific evidences alone, but is also a combination of psychological, sociocultural, and political factors. Acknowledge the mother’s anxiety related to the misinformation and providing more information is vital. Since it is well known that health education cannot change believes and values, it is important not to label the mother as non-compliant.Building trust should be given more importance here, and trust is built through conversation and exchange of information.Once trust is developed between the nurse and patient, further dialogue should take place to clarify doubts.
Study by Cook, Lewandowsky, & Ecker, 2017 showed that “combining accurate information with an inoculation explaining the technique underlying the misinformation was effective in neutralizing the misinformation and increasing perceived consensus” pp15. With regard to the learning needs of the mother, critical thinking skills and scrutinizing of the presented information could be beneficial in enabling decision making. Providing time for the toddlers’ mother to understand new information and reassessing her learning needs would be the best approach. Van der Linden (2016), found that informing patients about consensus on vaccine safety can boost vaccine confidence. In his study when participants were explained that 90% of the medical scientists are of consensuses that vaccines are safe, more people showed intention to vaccinate their children.
Informing of scientific consensus helps to dispel misinformation. At this time where plethora of information is available readily, there are high chances of trusting or believing non-scientific information. The way each individual perceives information depends on a combination of personal beliefs, sociocultural, political and psychological factors.
Developing trust of the other individual, followed by emphasizing the scientific agreementsand providing additional information can help. Despite utilizing all health teaching techniques, some individuals may not agree with the medical scientific consensus and a health worker should respect the individual choices.