Beni study report & summary on language and communication on Ebola (2) Parents' and informal caregivers' views and experiences of communication about routine childhood vaccination

8 January, 2020

Hi Mia

Thanks for your very interesting post on what communities in DRC want in relation to risk communication and community engagement for Ebola. I think these are critical points, and they very much mirror the findings of a Cochrane qualitative evidence synthesis that we undertook a couple of years ago on parents' and informal caregivers' views and experiences of communication about routine childhood vaccination. Some of the key findings from the 38 included qualitative studies were:

- In general, parents wanted more information than they were getting (high confidence). For some parents, a lack of information led to worry and regret about their vaccination decision (moderate confidence).

- Parents wanted balanced information about both the benefits and risks of vaccination (high confidence), presented in a clear and simple manner (moderate confidence) and tailored to their situation (low confidence). Parents wanted vaccination information to be available outside of the health services (low confidence). They wanted this information in good time before each vaccination appointment and not while their child was being vaccinated (moderate confidence).

- Parents viewed health workers as an important source of information and had specific expectations of their interactions with them (high confidence). Poor communication and negative relationships with health workers sometimes impacted on vaccination decisions (moderate confidence).

- Parents generally found it difficult to know which vaccination information source to trust and found it difficult to find information that they felt was unbiased and balanced (high confidence).

- The amount of information parents wanted and the sources they felt they could trust seem to be linked to their acceptance of vaccination, with parents who were more hesitant wanting more information (low to moderate confidence).

All this work shows that we need to do a lot more as health care providers and managers to ensure that the communication and information we are providing meets people’s needs.

The full review is available as open access here: and you can also listen to a podcast on the findings here: The podcast is available in Catalan, Croatian, English, French, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.

Best wishes


HIFA profile: Simon Lewin is a health systems researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Medical Research Council of South Africa ( His work is mainly in the field of implementation research, including systematic reviews of health systems interventions; the development and evaluation of strategies for changing professional and user behaviours and the organization of care; and the use of lay or community health workers to deliver care. He is an editor for the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group. He is a member of the HIFA working group on CHWs:

Email: simon.lewin AT