Common Perceptions of Parents Requesting Personal Exemption From Vaccination


immunizations, health/wellness, health education, communicable diseases


School nurses, as vaccination advocates, need to be aware of parents’ common concerns regarding vaccines, so the nurse can develop strategies to communicate with parents. The purpose of this cross-sectional, descriptive study was to identify common reasons parents in Utah seek exempting rather than vaccinating their children. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 801 parents responding to a 16-item questionnaire about why they exempted their children from receiving vaccinations. The most commonly reported reason for seeking a personal exemption included vaccines conflicting with philosophical beliefs. Parents exempting from one vaccine most commonly exempted the hepatitis series. Most parents communicated their vaccine concerns with their health care provider prior to seeking exemption. The majority of exempting parents did not use the Internet when researching vaccines even though they had Internet access. Considering the common vaccine-related perceptions of parents may be helpful when developing strategies to overcome these barriers to vaccination.

Original Publication Citation

Luthy, K. E., Beckstrand, R. L., & Meyers, C. J.* (2013). Common perceptions of parents requesting personal exemption from vaccination. Journal of School Nursing, 29(2), 95-103.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


The Journal of School Nursing





University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor