Objectives To describe, from paediatricians’ perspectives, issues relating to compliance with palivizumab prophylaxis (PP), which prevents respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospitalisation in high-risk infants.
Methods 453 paediatricians were invited to participate in an internet-based survey containing 29 questions to assess patient demographics, physician practice habits and perceptions of obstacles and measures to enhance compliance.
Results 60 European paediatricians from 18 countries completed the survey. 30% of physicians perceive PP to be equivalent to a vaccine and 67% believe caregivers share this perception. The most common reasons for caregivers’ refusal of PP identified are caregivers’ personal “anti-vaccine” beliefs (50%), incomplete knowledge of RSV (40%) and inconvenience (38%). 92% of paediatricians indicated information on RSV and PP are provided to caregivers, primarily by the paediatrician (84%). Information is generally provided orally (91%) and/or written (60%), which is often not in the caregivers’ native language (31%). 30% of paediatricians indicated that an interpreter is not used and most do not require caregivers to repeat information to demonstrate comprehension (63%). In order to improve PP compliance, paediatricians recommend the provision of additional educational materials and hospital reminders as well as further educating the family about the threat of RSV and PP.
Conclusion Paediatricians recognise several obstacles to PP compliance. Results suggest that concerted efforts by the healthcare team, including nurses, targeted at empowering caregivers with educational materials and providing hospital reminders may improve the understanding of RSV and PP compliance.
Funded by Abbott.