Parental awareness and attitudes towards prevention of respiratory syncytial virus in infants and young children in Australia

Charlie Holland, Megan Baker, Amber Bates, Catherine Hughes, Peter C. Richmond, Samantha Carlson, Hannah C. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To assess parental awareness of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the level of acceptance of future RSV prevention strategies. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was implemented targeting “future” and “current” parents of children aged ≤5 years in Australia. Results: From 1992 eligible participants, two non-mutually exclusive subgroups were formed: “current” parents (N = 1931) and “pregnant/planning” parents (N = 464: 403 also “current” parents and 61 “future” parents). Participants were predominantly (86.6%) aged 25–39 years and 68.5% with university education. The majority (89.6% current; 78.7% future) had heard of RSV. Of those, 64.2% (current) and 50.0% (future) were aware that pneumonia is associated with RSV; 71.8% (current) and 52.1% (future) were aware that bronchiolitis is associated with RSV. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, Australian-born parents (aOR = 2.47 [95% CI: 1.48–4.12]), living in the eastern states (e.g., New South Wales: aOR = 6.15 [95% CI:2.10–18.04]), with a university-level education (aOR = 2.61 [95% CI:1.38–4.94]) and being a current parent (aOR = 12.26 [95% CI:2.82–53.28]) were associated with higher RSV awareness. There was a high level of acceptance for maternal vaccines (future: 79.3%) and infant immunisation (all: 81.7%). Conclusion: While RSV awareness and immunisation acceptance were high, there was limited knowledge of severity of RSV, especially in future parents. Education campaigns need to be developed to increase RSV knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-794
Number of pages9
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume113
Issue number4
Early online date1 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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