Immunization recall: effectiveness and barriers to success in an urban teaching clinic.J Pediatr. 2001 Nov; 139(5):630-5.JPed
To examine effectiveness of immunization recall in an urban pediatric teaching clinic and to identify barriers to recall effectiveness.
Randomized, controlled trial. Children aged 5 to 17 months who were not up to date (UTD) with recommended immunizations were identified and assigned to intervention (n = 294) or control groups (n = 309). The intervention consisted of a mailed postcard and up to 4 telephone calls. Two months after intervention, UTD status, visit, and probable missed opportunity rates were assessed.
Of the intervention group, 30% could not be reached. In 12-month-old children in the intervention group compared with those in the control group, there was a trend toward higher UTD rates (51% vs 39%, P =.07) and a higher proportion of UTD children receiving immunizations as opposed to getting more complete documentation (25% vs 10%, P =.005). Similar differences between intervention and control children were not seen in the 7-month and 19-month age categories. More children in the intervention group had a health maintenance visit (17% vs 11%, P =.03). Of children in the intervention group who were seen when not UTD, 17 of 24 (71%) of those seen for an illness visit and 5 of 24 (21%) of those seen for health maintenance probably had missed opportunities to be immunized.
Recall efforts were partially successful but were undermined by inability to reach the clinic population, poor documentation of immunizations, and missed opportunities.