Evaluation of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices towards Vaccination among Patients with Spina Bifida in Ukraine





spina bifida, vaccination, disability, knowledge, attitudes, practices


Patients with spina bifida (SB) face an increased risk of infection due to frequent exposure to medical procedures and visits to healthcare centers, including rehabilitation centers. Infection can lead to complications in kidneys and urinary bladder, disrupt rehabilitation efforts, and reduce the quality of life.

Purpose - to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to vaccination among patients with SB and identify the reasons for the low vaccination rates in this group of children.

Materials and methods. An anonymous online survey was conducted among 56 parents of patients with SB. The questionnaire evaluates the knowledge (10 questions), attitudes and practices (4 questions) towards vaccination among parents of patients with SB in Ukraine. The results were analyzed using standard procedures with Statistica StatSoft 6.0 software package. Continuous variables were expressed as a mean and standard deviation (SD). The comparison of frequency parameters was performed using the Chi-square test. The differences between the parameters were statistically significant at p<0.05.

Results. Overall, parents demonstrated good knowledge about the role of vaccines in preventing serious diseases (61.7% gave correct answers), and the percentage of correct answers did not significantly differ between vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or unvaccinated groups of children. However, only 12.5% of SB patients were fully vaccinated and 51.8% were completely unvaccinated. Among the unvaccinated, the majority (55.2%) indicated non-recommendation by specialist doctors (neurosurgeon, neurologist, etc.) as the main reason. Primary care physicians were less likely to not recommend vaccination. Delayed vaccination was primarily due to fear of adverse reactions (40%). Despite low vaccination rates, parents generally had a positive attitude towards vaccination (only 5.4% against). Doctors remained the most influential source of information (63.4%).

Conclusions. A study suggests a need to enhance knowledge among healthcare professionals, increase public awareness, and provide education within patient groups to improve immunization coverage and protect SB children from preventable infectious diseases.

No conflict of interests was declared by the authors.

Author Biography

M.V. Koshmaniuk, NGO Association of parents of children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus “Lights of Spirit”, Ternopil

Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University, Ukraine


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