Adolescent self-consent for vaccinations: protocol for a mixed methods systematic review

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Introduction: The recent global expansion of routine adolescent vaccination programmes has the potential to protect young people against the acquisition of infectious disease and improve their health. Although in many countries the legal framework supports young people to provide consent for medical interventions if they are considered competent, written parental consent can act as a barrier to uptake as it is frequently a condition of adolescent vaccination programmes. The aim of this systematic review protocol is to document the methods which will be used to identify, appraise and synthesise the available qualitative and quantitative evidence to address: (i) whether implementation of adolescent self-consent procedures can increase vaccination uptake, and; (ii) the barriers and facilitators to implementation of adolescent self-consent procedures.
Methods and analysis: Comprehensive search strategy of all relevant electronic databases for both qualitative and quantitative studies using predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. At least two authors will independently review titles and abstracts, extract data and assess the methodological quality of eligible primary studies, resolving disagreements by consensus. Quantitative studies will be reported narratively and where possible pooled in a meta-analysis using a random-effects model. The findings of qualitative primary studies will be extracted, interpreted and synthesised to identify overarching themes as well as similarities and differences within those themes.
Ethics and dissemination: As this systematic review involves analysis of secondary data, the study does not require ethical approvals. We will use our findings to assess whether the evidence supports the hypothesis that self-consent procedures can increase coverage of adolescent vaccination programmes. We will identify barriers and facilitators to the implementation of adolescent self-consent for vaccination, and make recommendations for policy-makers and practitioners in relation to consent procedures within vaccination programmes for young people.
Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42017084509
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere021335
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2018

Structured keywords

  • DECIPHer


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