Objective: To explore the informational needs of mothers with different levels of education in order to improve counselling about vaccination. Methods: In the setting of a large vaccination trial, mothers' assessments and yield of written information in combination with telephone consultations were evaluated in a survey. Furthermore, searching strategies for additional information were investigated. Mothers' perspectives on informational needs were explored in focus group discussions. Results: Out of 2025 mothers, 95% felt well-informed. Of the 4% not feeling well-informed, there were significantly more mothers with basic schooling and nontheoretical education. There was no correlation between searching for additional information and feeling well-informed. The telephone consultation was found to be very supportive for the decision. Conclusion: The written information was digestible over time. The telephone consultation ensured the mothers' understanding by tailoring and deriving meaning from the information to her special needs. Moreover, it helped the mothers gain an overview of risks and benefits and inspired confidence. These findings indicate that the telephone consultation improved health literacy. Practice implications: Individual counselling about vaccines is required in addition to information about side effects and accurate instructions on how to react upon them.
- health literacy