22765 Reducing Disparities in Childhood Immunization Rates: Mail Survey to Evaluate a Telephone Reminder System for Childhood Immunization 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall
Kerry-Ann Phang, MPH , Student, UMDNJ School of Public Health
Peter Wenger, MD , Associate Professor, UMDNJ-NJMS

Background: An automated telephone immunization reminder (ATIR) system was implemented to improve timely childhood immunization rates.   

Setting: Three communities in the Newark, NJ, metropolitan area.

Population: Urban, primarily economically-stressed, minority population with a significant proportion of recent immigrants Latin America, Haiti, and West Africa

Project Description: Beginning in 2007, ATIR messages were delivered on a bi-weekly basis to households with children 2, 4, 6, 12, and 15 months of age who reside in the study communities.  A survey in English, Spanish and Creole was mailed to 1007 families eligible to receive the ATIR during a 2-week period beginning in February 2009.  Two waves of the survey and a postcard reminder were sent out one week apart in March 2009.

Results/Lessons Learned: Of the 1007 surveys sent, 170 were undeliverable and 96 were received, however one was excluded due to residency ineligibility.  Therefore 95 surveys met study inclusion criteria for a response rate of 11.4%. Of those surveys, 66/95 (69.5%) reported they received the February ATIR, Sixty-four (97.0%) of the 66 households that reported receiving the ATIR reported the ATIR was understandable; 26 (39.4%) of the 66 households that reported receiving the ATIR reported they scheduled an appointment after receiving the ATIR; and 77(81.1%) of all eligible respondents reported they felt the ATIRs would be extremely helpful for parents. Parents expressed an overall positive experience with the ATIRs and many commented that the ATIRs helped them to keep track of their child’s immunizations.

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