Presumptive and Motivating Interviewing communication methods have effectively promoted childhood and adolescent vaccination to parents, but little is known about effective communication tactics during pregnancy to encourage maternal immunization and childhood vaccinations. Midwives offer a significant share of care in Australian public prenatal settings and are widely accessible and trusted providers of vaccination information for expecting parents. However, there are no evidence-based treatments integrating communication techniques and tools for midwives to maximize conversations and encourage acceptance of maternal and childhood vaccinations. The purpose of this study was to collect qualitative data from midwives in order to create a viable and acceptable vaccination communication intervention package based on an evidence-based approach used with US obstetricians. Researchers investigated midwives’ views and beliefs about maternal and childhood vaccination, as well as their perceived role in vaccine advocacy and delivery, as well as the hurdles and facilitators to implementing a possible communication intervention. Thematic template analysis was used to examine the interviews.
Midwives supported vaccination, although their perspectives on its importance in their position differed. Most said they had had little or no vaccination communication training. Although some midwives discussed personal opinions and strongly advocated vaccination, their communication strategies were largely focused on providing vaccine facts rather than persuasion. More vaccination training and communication resources were required. The findings underscore the need for communication tools that correspond with midwifery practice guidelines to assist midwives in responding to parents’ questions and concerns about maternal and childhood vaccinations.