Parents of 99 children who were admitted to hospital with whooping cough or measles, and of 50 children with whooping cough or measles who were nursed at home, were interviewed to determine the extent of morbidity and its effects on the family. Children admitted with whooping cough or measles spent a mean of 12.6 and 5.8 days in hospital, respectively. Time to full recovery was 13.7 and 2.1 weeks, respectively. Over a third of the children who were admitted were emotionally upset during the admission and for several weeks afterwards. Parental anxiety and exhaustion were common. Routine family life was appreciably disturbed. Advice from health care professionals, based on misconceptions of valid contradictions to immunisation, was the main reason for refusing vaccination.
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