Psychosocial and demographic characteristics relating to vaccine attitudes in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:Distrust in vaccination is a public health concern. In responding to vaccination distrust, the psychosocial context it occurs in needs to be accounted for. But this psychosocial context is insufficiently understood. We examined how Australians' attitudes to childhood vaccination relate to broader psychosocial characteristics pertaining to two key areas: health and government. DESIGN:4370 Australians were surveyed and divided into five vaccine attitude groups. Logistic univariable and multivariable regression analyses were used to compare differences in psychosocial characteristics between these groups. RESULTS:Multivariate analysis showed that, compared to groups with positive vaccine attitudes, groups with negative attitudes were more informed, engaged and independent health consumers, with greater adherence to complementary medicine, but lower belief in holistic health. They had higher distrust in the mainstream healthcare system, higher conspiracist ideation, and were more likely to vote for minor political parties. They were more likely to be male, religious, have children, and self-report better health. CONCLUSIONS:This research revealed HOW profiles of psychosocial characteristics differed between each of the five attitudes to childhood vaccines. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:These findings are useful for tailoring communications about vaccination-related concerns. They also show that more granular classification and measurement of vaccine attitudes may be useful.

publication date

  • 2019