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Public Health Researchers Develop Web-based Guide to Help Family Physicians Address Covid Vaccine Hesitancy

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Public health researchers in Canada developed an interactive, web-based guide to help family physicians better address a wide range of patient concerns related to the Covid vaccine. To ensure relevancy, the researchers conducted qualitative interviews with primary care physicians in multiple Canadian provinces. The data was then used to identify commonly held beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions that impact a patient’s willingness to receive the vaccine.

The research team found that physicians frequently encountered many of the same reasons for Covid vaccine hesitancy, including concerns around safety, interactions with comorbidities, conspiracy theories, religious or moral restrictions, and past traumas experienced in the medical setting. Using this information, researchers created several physician resources to help better counsel vaccine-hesitant patients, in direct response to each potential concern.

Additionally, the free guide outlines four steps to help physicians have better conversations with vaccine-hesitant patients, emphasizing the physician’s role as an ally on the patient’s health journey. Steps include engaging with patients; affirming patient concerns; asking permission before sharing information; and evoking future risks to motivate patients to reconsider vaccine hesitancy.

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