BACKGROUND: The World Health Organisation, WHO, recommends that most countries should vaccinate all children against hepatitis B. Sweden has chosen not to do so, but the issue is reassessed regularly. The objective of this survey was to assess knowledge and attitudes towards hepatitis B vaccine for children among parents living in Sweden, and to compare distribution of responses and response rate between parents answering a postal questionnaire and those responding via the Internet. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional survey, where the sampling frame consisted of all parents to a child born 2002 living in Sweden. Two independent samples of 1001 parents in each sample were drawn. All parents were contacted by postal mail. The parents in the first sample were invited to participate by answering a paper questionnaire. The parents in the second sample were given an individual user name along with a password, and asked to log on to the Internet to answer an identical electronic questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 1229 questionnaires were analysed. The overall response rate for paper questionnaires was 55%, and 15% for the web version. Knowledge of the disease hepatitis B was overall high (90%). A higher degree of knowledge was seen among parents with education beyond high school (p = 0.001). This group of parents also had a higher tendency to reply via the Internet (p = 0.001). The willingness to accept hepatitis B vaccine for their child was correlated to the acceptance of the present childhood vaccination programme (p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: The results reveal a high level of knowledge of the disease and a positive attitude to having their children vaccinated. This study also displays that the conventional postal method of surveying still delivers a higher response rate than a web-based survey.
British Columbia (BC) implemented a universal infant hepatitis B (HB) immunization program in 2001. The study objective was to evaluate HB immunization coverage among the first six-month cohort of eligible infants in the province outside of the Vancouver-Richmond health region and to assess parent/guardian behavioural and attitudinal determinants of HB immunization.
A cross-sectional survey of HB immunization was conducted using a random sample of eligible infants born between 1 January-30 June 2001. HB immunization coverage data were obtained from the provincial Public Health Information System, and through a telephone survey of 487 of eligible infants' parents/guardians that was conducted between October 2002-January 2003. At this time, parents/guardians were also asked about behaviours and attitudes towards immunization, based on the Immunization Health Belief Model Scale.
HB immunization coverage with at least one dose of HB vaccine was 89% and uptake of 3 doses of HB vaccine was 78%. HB immunization was significantly associated (p