As of December 2019, pregnant women in the Netherlands are offered pertussis vaccination to protect their newborn infant against pertussis infection. However, the manner in which pregnant women decide about this maternal pertussis vaccination is largely unknown. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the decision-making process regarding maternal pertussis vaccination, and to explore the related needs among the vaccine-hesitant subgroup of orthodox Protestant women.
Charmaz’s grounded theory approach was used to develop a decision-making framework. To construct this framework we used an explorative multimethod approach in which in-depth interviews and online focus groups were supplemented by a literature search and research group meetings. This study was carried out in a hypothetical situation since the maternal pertussis vaccination had yet to be implemented in the Dutch immunisation programme at the time of the study.
Twenty-five orthodox Protestant women participated in an interview, an online focus group, or in both. The findings of this study resulted in a decision-making framework that included three stages of decision-making; an Orientation stage, a value-based Deliberation stage, and Final decision stage. The Orientation stage included the needs for decision-making categorised into Information needs and Conversation needs. Women indicated that -if they were to receive sufficient time for Orientation and Deliberation- they would be able to reach the stage of Final decision.
The decision-making framework resulting from our findings can be used by health care professionals to provide women with information and consultation in the decision-making process. Future studies should investigate whether the stages of and needs for decision-making can be found across other vaccine-hesitant subgroups and vaccinations.