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Assessing misclassification of vaccination status: Implications for studies of the safety of the childhood immunization schedule.

Related Articles Assessing misclassification of vaccination status: Implications for studies of the safety of the childhood immunization schedule. Vaccine. 2017 Mar 09;: Authors: Daley MF, Glanz JM, Newcomer SR, Jackson ML, Groom HC, Lugg MM, McLean HQ, Klein NP, Weintraub ES, McNeil MM Abstract BACKGROUND: To address public concern about the safety of the childhood immunization schedule, the Institute of Medicine recommended observational studies comparing adverse health outcomes of fully vaccinated children to children under-vaccinated due to parental choice. Misclassification of vaccination status could bias such studies. OBJECTIVE: To assess risk of misclassification of vaccination status within the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). DESIGN/METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in three phases. In phase 1, electronic health record (EHR) data were used to identify patterns of under-vaccination during the first 24months of life potentially due to parental choice. In phase 2, a random sample of records of under-vaccinated children was manually reviewed. In phase 3, a separate sample of parents were surveyed to assess whether EHR data accurately reflected their child's vaccination status. Phases 1 and 2 were conducted at 6 VSD sites, phase 3 at 1 site. RESULTS: The study cohort included 361,901 children born 2004 through 2012. By 24months of age, 198,249 (54.8%) were fully vaccinated with no delays, 84,698 (23.4%) experienced delays but were fully vaccinated by 24months of age, 4865 (1.3%) received no vaccines, 3789 (1.0%) delayed starting vaccination until ≥4months of age, 4781 (1.3%) had consistent vaccine-limiting (≤2 vaccines per visit), and the remaining 65,519 (18.1%) were missing vaccine series or doses. When a diagnosis code for vaccine refusal was present in EHR data, encounter notes confirmed vaccine refusal as the reason for under-vaccination for nearly 100% of sampled records. Parent surveys confirmed these findings. Parents of under-vaccinated children were more likely to report visiting an alternative medical provider than parents of fully vaccinated children. CONCLUSIONS: Specific groups of children, under-vaccinated due to parental choice, can be identified with relatively low likelihood of misclassification of vaccination status using EHR-based vaccine data and diagnosis codes. PMID: 28285983 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

BACKGROUND:

To address public concern about the safety of the childhood immunization schedule, the Institute of Medicine recommended observational studies comparing adverse health outcomes of fully vaccinated children to children under-vaccinated due to parental choice. Misclassification of vaccination status could bias such studies.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess risk of misclassification of vaccination status within the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD).

DESIGN/METHODS:

A retrospective cohort study was conducted in three phases. In phase 1, electronic health record (EHR) data were used to identify patterns of under-vaccination during the first 24months of life potentially due to parental choice. In phase 2, a random sample of records of under-vaccinated children was manually reviewed. In phase 3, a separate sample of parents were surveyed to assess whether EHR data accurately reflected their child's vaccination status. Phases 1 and 2 were conducted at 6 VSD sites, phase 3 at 1 site.

RESULTS:

The study cohort included 361,901 children born 2004 through 2012. By 24months of age, 198,249 (54.8%) were fully vaccinated with no delays, 84,698 (23.4%) experienced delays but were fully vaccinated by 24months of age, 4865 (1.3%) received no vaccines, 3789 (1.0%) delayed starting vaccination until ≥4months of age, 4781 (1.3%) had consistent vaccine-limiting (≤2 vaccines per visit), and the remaining 65,519 (18.1%) were missing vaccine series or doses. When a diagnosis code for vaccine refusal was present in EHR data, encounter notes confirmed vaccine refusal as the reason for under-vaccination for nearly 100% of sampled records. Parent surveys confirmed these findings. Parents of under-vaccinated children were more likely to report visiting an alternative medical provider than parents of fully vaccinated children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Specific groups of children, under-vaccinated due to parental choice, can be identified with relatively low likelihood of misclassification of vaccination status using EHR-based vaccine data and diagnosis codes.

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