This study examined the effects of providing vaccination education during the perinatal period on Japanese parents' knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about childhood vaccination. A cluster-randomized controlled-trial method was used on a sample of 160 pregnant women recruited from 9 obstetrical sites in Niigata, Japan. The treatment group received a stepwise interactive education intervention, while the control group received a general vaccination leaflet. Changes in parental attitudes toward and beliefs about infant vaccination were assessed on the child's one-month and 6-month birthdays using paper questionnaires. Of the initial 188 participants, 160 (90.4%) completed the final post-survey questionnaire. Scores on injunctive social norms (a morally neutral perception of the behavior of the majority) and descriptive social norms (a moral perception of what individuals should do) significantly increased in the treatment group (p =.02 and p =.01, respectively). There was a significant difference between the 2 groups over time in terms of perceived benefit (efficacy of available preventive actions) (p =.03), but no significant differences in perceived severity (seriousness of a disease outcome), perceived susceptibility (likelihood of getting a disease), perceived benefits, perceived behavioral control, or descriptive social norms between the groups at any time point or in the patterns of change over time (p >.31). Thus, stepwise perinatal vaccination education was found to positively influence maternal attitudes and beliefs about infant vaccination. This study suggests the importance of vaccination education during the perinatal period.
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