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The impact of health scares on parents’ information needs and preferred information sources: a case study of the MMR vaccine scare

Guillaume, L. and Bath, P.A. (2004) The impact of health scares on parents’ information needs and preferred information sources: a case study of the MMR vaccine scare. Health Informatics Journal, 10 (1). pp. 5-22. ISSN 1460-4582

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Abstract

Health scares are characterized by mass media reporting that generates panic about a particular health issue or intervention, and those involved often require information. This article describes a study that aimed to examine the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination scare, its impact on parents of young children, and its effect on their need for information. Seventeen semi-structured interviews were carried out with parents in Sheffield, UK. Analysis of the interview transcripts revealed several categories including the one presented in this article, ‘Information and the MMR vaccine’. The health scare increased parents’ information needs in relation to their decision whether to have their child vaccinated. Parents viewed traditional sources of information critically as they did not consider them to be trustworthy. Parents considered trustworthiness of the information source to be an important factor. Ongoing work in this area is investigating these issues through a large-scale, quantitative study.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: health scare; information; MMR vaccine; parents
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Information Studies
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2009 14:02
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2009 14:02
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1460458204040664
Status: Published
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/1460458204040664
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9132

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