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Does qualitative synthesis of anecdotal evidence with that from scientific research help in understanding public health issues: a review of low MMR uptake

Anandhi Nagaraj
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cki058 85-88 First published online: 30 January 2006


Study objective: To explore the professional and parental factors underlying low MMR uptake by qualitative synthesis of evidence from technical and non-technical anecdotal literature. Methods: An intensive investigation of literature covering research, press, online, E groups and grey literature was carried out using devised search strategies. Key themes were identified from both the research and anecdotal evidence, which were merged to form common themes. Results: The review of technical literature identified media scare and inadequate information from health professionals as the main reasons for non-uptake of MMR. The non-technical anecdotal evidence showed that professionals' belief in parental right to choose, target payments and fear of autism were the major factors. Conclusions: Anecdotal evidence may contribute to evidence-based public health practice, especially in widely debated public health issues.

  • complementary medicine and MMR vaccination
  • MMR vaccination uptake
  • MMR vaccine
  • religion and MMR
  • review
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