Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Robert H. Kirk
Susan Smith, Paula Zemal, Anand Malik
Children who are up-to-date on their immunization schedule have a good chance of resisting diseases that are vaccine-preventable. The proper use of vaccines is one of the most cost-effective methods that can be used to control the spread of infectious diseases.The factors associated with children being up-to-date on their immunization schedule are many. The decision to immunize children is made by the caregiver, because a child cannot make this decision. Caregivers' attitudes and beliefs about immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases influence the decisions they make.The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship of caregivers' beliefs and attitudes to childhood immunization compliance in Bamenda, Cameroon. The current rate of childhood immunization in Cameroon is 36%. This rate is very low and so the urgency to determine factors influencing immunization compliance. It is important to know caregiver beliefs and attitudes associated with compliance to childhood immunization so these could be addressed if they would lead to an increase in immunization compliance. The Health Belief Model and self-efficacy constructs were used as the theoretical framework.To access caregiver beliefs and attitudes a survey instrument based on constructs of the Health Belief Model and self-efficacy was modified, pilot tested and validated for use in this study. Participants were present with their children for admission into class one at randomly selected primary schools in Bamenda,Cameroon. The data for this study are presented in a descriptive and analytical format. Logistic regression, MANOVA and chi-square techniques were used for analysis.The following major conclusions are drawn from this study:Location of residence and level of education were associated with compliance to childhood immunization. Caregivers whose level of education was higher than classes seven were more likely to be compliant to childhood immunization than those whose level were lower than class seven. Perceived susceptibility, severity, and self efficacy were associated with compliance to childhood immunization. Self-efficacy increased the predictive ability of the Health Belief Model.Developing health education interventions to address these issues may improve immunization compliance in Bamenda, Cameroon. Further research is needed to address designing programs to reduce childhood mortality by increasing childhood compliance with immunization policies
Tuma, Jude N., "Caregiver attitudes and beliefs associated with compliance to childhood immunization in Bamenda, Cameroon. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2000.