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PhD: Exploring Adolescent Perspectives on Vaccination and Side Effects

Teenage experiences and understanding are likely to play a formative role in later health beliefs and behaviour as adults. In England, three vaccines are routinely recommended for adolescents (human papilloma virus; tetanus, diphtheria and polio; meningitis). Uptake is sub-optimal. Generally, the most common reason for vaccine refusal is fear of side effects. However, not all symptoms experienced after vaccination are necessarily caused by the vaccine itself. Some may reflect existing symptoms misattributed to the vaccine, and others may arise through the expectation that the vaccine will cause side effects (‘nocebo’ effects). The main objectives of this PhD are to explore adolescent perspectives on vaccination and vaccine side effects, and to investigate psychological and contextual factors associated with vaccine uptake in adolescents, and side-effect perception in vaccinated individuals.

We hypothesise that:

  • psychological (greater perceived severity of the disease) and contextual (thinking that others will be vaccinated) factors will be associated with greater vaccine uptake.
  • psychological (greater side-effect expectations) and contextual (seeing side effects in other adolescents) factors will be associated with reporting of vaccine side effects.

Three studies will be conducted. First, a systematic review investigating factors associated with uptake of routine vaccines in adolescents, to identify relevant previous literature. Second, a qualitative telephone interview study, to explore facilitators and barriers to vaccination, and beliefs about vaccine side effects in vaccine-eligible adolescents. Third, a prospective cohort study, to investigate the prevalence and relative influence of factors associated with vaccination and reporting of side effects in vaccine-eligible adolescents.

More info: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/study/research-funding/ls-adolescentvax-23

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 22nd November 2022
Closes: 4th December 2022
Reference: LS-AdolescentVax-23
 
   
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