UK armed forces responses to an informed consent policy for anthrax vaccination: a paradoxical effect?


Murphy, D; Dandeker, C; Horn, O; Hotopf, M; Hull, L; Jones, M; Marteau, T; Rona, R; Wessely, S; (2006) UK armed forces responses to an informed consent policy for anthrax vaccination: a paradoxical effect? Vaccine, 24 (16). pp. 3109-14. ISSN 0264-410X DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2006.01.043

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: In recognition of concerns that anthrax vaccination might be a trigger for "Gulf war syndrome", anthrax vaccinations were offered to UK armed forces in the 2003 Iraq conflict using explicit as opposed to implicit consent, as is the policy for all other vaccinations. This paper examines responses of personnel to this policy. METHODS: Qualitative analysis of free text responses to a question inviting comments on any concerns about the anthrax vaccination, asked in the context of a questionnaire assessing military health amongst 1000 members of the UK armed forces following the invasion of Iraq in 2003. RESULTS: Two hundred and two (20.2%) respondents made comments reflecting concerns about the vaccine's effectiveness and its safety. These appeared to be magnified by suspicions about the motives behind the informed consent policy for anthrax but not other vaccinations. CONCLUSION: While the informed consent policy for anthrax vaccinations was intended to decrease concern, it may inadvertently have had the opposite effect.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 16504348
Web of Science ID: 236931900012
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/8354

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