Discourse / Discours - Immunization Rejection in Southern Alberta: A Comparison of the Perspectives of Mothers and Health Professionals


  • Shannon Y. Vandenberg
  • Judith C. Kulig


Qualitative grounded theory was used to compare and contrast the understanding and decision-making process of non-immunizing mothers and health professionals' perceptions of these mothers' understanding and decision-making process. The sample comprised 8 mothers with purposefully unimmunized children under the age of 6 years and 12 health professionals. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and the data generated were analyzed using data immersion, memo-writing, and 3 stages of coding. The mothers and health professionals identified similar, interrelated factors influencing the mothers' decision, categorized into 4 groups: emotions, beliefs, facts, and information. Three primary themes were evident: the health professionals emphasized the influence of religion in decision-making to a greater extent than did the mothers, the meaning of evidence appeared to differ for mothers and health professionals, and mothers revealed a mistrust of health professionals. Immunization is a public health issue; collaboration and understanding are necessary to promote positive health outcomes in children.