OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of parental report of influenza vaccinations.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. A cross-sectional study of children who were 6 to 59 months of age and presented to a large, pediatric residency clinic from February through April 2005 was performed. A standardized, parental questionnaire ascertained the influenza vaccination status of children during the 2004–2005 influenza season and was compared with the medical chart, the criterion standard. Children were classified as being at high risk when they had a specific influenza vaccine recommendation in 2004–2005 by age (6–23 months of age) or by chronic medical condition.
RESULTS. Of 218 parents approached in the pediatric residency clinic, 198 (95%) children who were 6 to 59 months of age were enrolled, and 84 (42%) were vaccinated according to the medical chart. More children who were 6 to 23 months than those who were 24 to 59 months of age were vaccinated (63% vs 21%). Children with chronic medical conditions were more likely to be vaccinated than healthy children who were 24 to 59 months of age (57% vs 11%), but no difference was observed for children who were 6 to 23 months of age (79% vs 60%). In comparison with the medical chart, parental report of influenza vaccination had a sensitivity of 88%, a specificity of 90%, and a κ coefficient of 0.78. For children who were 6 to 23 months of age or had a chronic medical condition (n = 123), parental report had a sensitivity of 89%, a specificity of 81%, and a κ coefficient of 0.71.
CONCLUSIONS. Parental report of influenza vaccination among children who were 6 to 59 months of age had reasonable sensitivity, specificity, and reliability as compared with the medical chart in this study population.