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DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.09.043


INTRODUCTION: Immunization education for physicians-in-training is crucial to address vaccine concerns in clinical practice. Vaccine education is not standardized across residency programs. The Collaboration for Vaccination Education and Research (CoVER) team developed an online curriculum for pediatric (Peds) and family medicine (FM) residents.

METHODS: A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed during the 2017-2018 academic year to evaluate the CoVER curriculum. A convenience sample of residency institutions were randomly allocated to the intervention or control group, with stratification by residency type. The intervention, the CoVER curriculum, consisted of four online modules and an in-person training guide. Control sites continued with their standard vaccine education. Pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys were emailed to residents in both groups. The primary outcomes compared between groups were changes in "vaccine knowledge," "vaccine attitudes/hesitancy," and "self-confidence" in immunization communication. The team assessing outcomes was unblinded to assignments. Hierarchical general linear model was used to adjust for residency type and residency year; residency site was modeled as a random effect.

RESULTS: Overall, 1444 residents from 31 residency programs were eligible to participate (734 intervention, 710 control). The pre-intervention response rate was 730 (51%) and post-intervention was 526 (36%). Average knowledge scores increased from pre-intervention (control 53%; CoVER 53%) to post-intervention (control 58%; CoVER 60%). Increases in vaccine knowledge among FM residents were greater for CoVER compared to controls (p = 0.041). Vaccine hesitancy was more common among FM (23%) than Peds (10%) residents. In all three residency years, residents in the CoVER group showed greater increases in self-confidence in ability to discuss vaccines with parents/patients (p < 0.03) compared to control group.

CONCLUSION: The CoVER curriculum is an effective model to standardize immunization education of physicians-in-training. This RCT demonstrated the effectiveness of the CoVER curriculum to improve resident confidence in their ability to discuss vaccines with parents and patients.

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Family medicine; Medical education; Pediatric; Resident education; Vaccine education; Vaccine hesitancy


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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