The effect of parental monetary sanctions on the vaccination status of young children: An evaluation of welfare reform in Maryland

Cynthia S Minkovitz, Elizabeth Holt, Nancy Hughart, William Hou, Larry Thomas, Eugene Dini, Bernard Guyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether financial sanctions to Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) recipients can be used to improve vaccination coverage of young children. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Six AFDC jurisdictions in Maryland. Intervention: Recipients of AFDC were randomized to the experimental or control group of the Primary Prevention Initiative. Families in the experimental group were penalized financially for failing to verify that their children received preventive health care, including vaccinations; control families were not. Participants: Children aged 3 to 24 months from assigned families were randomly selected for the evaluation (911 in the experimental, 864 in the control, and 471 in the baseline groups). Main Outcome Measures: Up-to-date for age for diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis (DTP), polio, and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines; missed opportunities to vaccinate; and number of visits per year. Analysis: Comparisons among baseline and postimplementation years 1 and 2. Results: Vaccination coverage of children was low. Less than 70% of children were up-to-date for age for polio and MMR vaccines; slightly more than 50% were up-to-date for DTP vaccine. Up-to-date rates differed little among baseline, experimental, and control groups. Over time, there was a decrease in missed opportunities, and more children made at least 1 well- child visit; however, neither improvement resulted in a change in vaccination status. Conclusions: The Primary Prevention Initiative did not contribute to an increase in vaccination coverage among these children. Minimal economic sanctions alone levied against parents should not be expected substantially to affect vaccination rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1247
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume153
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1999

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Vaccination
Aid to Families with Dependent Children
Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine
Diphtheria Toxoid
Tetanus Toxoid
Poliomyelitis
Primary Prevention
Preventive Health Services
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
Control Groups
Whooping Cough
Randomized Controlled Trials
Parents
Economics
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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The effect of parental monetary sanctions on the vaccination status of young children : An evaluation of welfare reform in Maryland. / Minkovitz, Cynthia S; Holt, Elizabeth; Hughart, Nancy; Hou, William; Thomas, Larry; Dini, Eugene; Guyer, Bernard.

In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 153, No. 12, 12.1999, p. 1242-1247.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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