Survey on Immunization Viewpoints and Practices among Naturopathic Doctors

Principal Investigator: Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH

Vaccination is widely considered an essential function of primary care medicine especially for providers who treat children.  The practices and attitudes of neither licensed nor unlicensed NDs have not been documented.  Whereas many consumers and public health agencies presume that NDs oppose vaccination, preliminary data suggests that most NDs would instead modify currently recommended schedules. A recent general survey by AANP of its members with a 20% response rate with regular email and newsletter follow up gave evidence that the proportion of licensed NDs who ever provide immunizations may be less than 10%. Information gained in this survey will provide reliable quantitative and qualitative data to inform policy inside and outside the naturopathic profession and to guide practice improvement efforts by naturopathic professional agencies. The study is a collaboration of the AANP and the Naturopathic Physicians Research Institute (NPRI) with the involvement of AANP’s Scientific Affairs Committee and its ad hoc vaccination survey subcommittee.

Accordingly, the specific aims are:

  • To perform a survey among a randomized sample of American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) members on vaccination attitudes, practices and sources of information.  The primary emphasis will be on pediatric vaccination but adult and adolescent vaccination will be included.
  • To oversample for vaccinators among all AANP members, Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians (PedANP) members and other naturopathic professional association members who provide vaccinations.  Due to a low rate of immunizations by NDs found in a preliminary survey of AANP members (perhaps <10%), the oversampling is needed to enrich the qualitative data on vaccinators from the survey.