It Doesn't Have to Hurt

BMC Health Services Research: Factors associated with parents’ experiences using a knowledge translation tool for vaccination pain management


Background: Vaccination is a common painful procedure for children. Parents’ concern regarding vaccination pain is a significant driver of vaccine hesitancy. Despite the wealth of evidence-based practices available for managing vaccination pain, parents lack knowledge of, and access to, these strategies. Knowledge translation (KT) tools can communicate evidence-based information to parents, however little is known about what factors influence parents’ use of these tools. A two-page, electronic KT tool on psychological, physical, and pharmacological vaccination pain management strategies for children, was shared with parents as part of a larger mixed methods study, using explanatory sequential design, exploring factors related to uptake of this KT tool. The aim of this qualitative study was to understand what influenced parents’ perceptions of the relevance of the KT tool, as well as their decision as to whether to use the tool.

Methods: A qualitative descriptive design was used. A total of 20 parents of children aged 0–17 years (n = 19 mothers) reviewed the KT tool ahead of their child’s upcoming vaccination and participated in a semi-structured interview at follow-up. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed with reflexive thematic analysis using an inductive approach.

Results: The analysis generated three interrelated themes which described factors related to parents’ use of the KT tool: (1) Relevance to parents’ needs and circumstances surrounding their child’s vaccination; (2) Alignment with parents’ personal values around, and experiences with, vaccination pain management (e.g., the importance of managing pain); and (3) Support from the clinical environment for implementing evidence-based strategies (e.g., physical clinical environment and quality of interactions with the health care provider).

Conclusions: Several factors were identified as central to parents’ use of the KT tool, including the information itself and the clinical environment. When the tool was perceived as relevant, aligned with parents’ values, and was supported by health care providers, parents were more inclined to use the KT tool to manage their children’s vaccination pain. Future research could explore other factors related to promoting engagement and uptake when creating parent-directed KT tools for a range of health-related contexts.

Check out this open access research paper published in BMC Health Services Research by clicking here.

IWK Health Centre
Centre for Pediatric Pain Research
Dalhousie University