A shot in the dark : lay perception of inoculations and anti-vaccination discourse

Kitta, Andrea (2009) A shot in the dark : lay perception of inoculations and anti-vaccination discourse. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In spite of the success of the childhood inoculation movement, questions about vaccines have increasingly been an object of concern for Canadians. This thesis explores vernacular beliefs and practices that surround decisions not to vaccinate, with the primary aim of providing concrete recommendations for improving inoculation promotion programs. Ideally health education programs are community based, involve collaborative partnerships between communities, researchers, and service providers, and make use of local concerns. Understanding health choices is dependent on exploring the variety of cultural issues and influences that constitute risk for the communities and individuals in question. Risk categories and risk perception are multifaceted, culture bound, personal, and political. Through the use of ethnographic, media, and narrative analysis, this thesis explores the vernacular explanatory models used in inoculation decision-making. The purpose of this research is targeted at the creation of public health education programs and promotional materials which respond to patients' real fears, real understandings of risk, real concerns, and real doubts. Exploring the nature of inoculation distrust and miscommunication, this work isolates areas which require better public health communication and greater cultural sensitivity in the handling of inoculation programs. It also suggests guidelines for physician interaction with inoculation resistant patients.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/8663
Item ID: 8663
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 280-307).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Preventive health services; Vaccination--Folklore; Vaccination--Decision making

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