Objective: We examined pregnant women’s likelihood of vaccinating their infants against seasonal influenza via a randomized message framing study. Using Prospect Theory, we tested gain- and loss-frame message effects and demographic and psychosocial correlates of influenza immunization intention. We also explored interactions among pregnant women who viewed “Contagion” to understand cultural influences on message perception.
Methods: Pregnant women ages 18–50 participated in a randomized message framing study from September 2011 through May 2012 that included exposure to intervention or control messages, coupled with questionnaire completion. Venue-based sampling was used to recruit racial and ethnic minority female participants at locations throughout Atlanta, Georgia. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to evaluate key outcomes.
Results: The study population (n = 261) included many lower income (≤ $20 000/yearly household earnings) pregnant participants (69.2%, n = 171) inclusive of Black/African Americans (88.5%, n = 230), Hispanic/Latinas (7.3%, n = 19), and Other/Multicultural women (4.2%, n = 11). Both gain [OR = 2.13, 90% CI: (1.120, 4.048)] and loss-frame messages [OR = 2.02, 90% CI: (1.083, 3.787)] were significantly associated with infant influenza vaccination intention compared with the control condition. Intention to immunize against influenza during pregnancy had a strong effect on intent to immunize infants [OR = 10.83, 90%CI: (4.923, 23.825)]. Those who had seen the feature film “Contagion” (n = 54, 20.69%) viewed gain- and loss-framed messages as appealing (x2 = 6.03, p = 0.05), novel (x2 = 6.24, p = 0.03), and easy to remember (x2 = 16.33, P = 0.0003).
Conclusions: In this population, both gain- and loss-framed messages were positively associated with increased maternal intent to immunize infants against influenza. Message resonance was enhanced among those who saw the film “Contagion.” Additionally, history of immunization was strongly associated with infant immunization intention.