Ari Brown, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, discussed the importance of sharing information with patients during her keynote speech at the West Virginia Public Health Symposium on Thursday.
Brown, an author, pediatrician and frequent television health expert, said that most parents are not opposed to getting their children vaccinated and simply need more information prior to administering shots, the Charleston Daily Mail reports.
“What you need to remember is they’re not bad parents,” Brown said, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. “They’re scared parents. A lot of people get inaccurate information and it makes them scared. You can talk about public health all day long, but what parents want to hear is what will protect their kid.”
Brown said that while most doctors can answer their parents’ questions, they don’t know the best way to convey that information. She recommended that attendees take time to listen to patients, give them trustworthy advice and stand behind their suggestions.
Brown suggested that doctors say that they would vaccinate their own children and wouldn’t want to do any differently for the children of patients.
“It’s an emotional argument,” Brown said, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. “It’s one you can’t argue with.”
Brown said that parents don’t want to be scolded, they want to feel like their doctors are listening to their concerns.
“These are not people you want to alienate because they’ll just walk away,” Brown said, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. “Sit down, shut up and share.”