Penn Nursing Experts Available to Discuss Measles Outbreak and Vaccination Hesitancy
Buttenheim is a public health researcher and behavioral epidemiologist who combines her interest in behavioral economics with a focus on improving child health on a global level. She has designed and evaluated interventions to improve parental and family decision making across a broad range of topics, including vaccine hesitancy, food access in low-income neighborhoods, childhood obesity, and participation in large-scale vector control programs .
A New York Times article on a measles outbreak in California several years ago prompted Dr. Buttenheim to look more closely at the factors that influence parents' decision making when it comes to their children's health. "You could really move the needle by paying attention to how parents are making those decisions," she notes. Her work is designed to provide new insights to help parents make better choices for their children, and to improve take-up of evidence-based preventive services.
Mohanty’s research focuses on vaccine hesitancy—specifically around childhood and adolescent immunizations. Her previous research experience includes evaluating community-based interventions to improve vaccine uptake, and examining the impact of vaccine hesitancy in pediatric healthcare settings.
The journal Pediatrics recently published a study of hers on health officers’ experiences in the wake of a California bill to eliminate nonmedical exemptions from school-entry vaccine mandates. “The study revealed concerns about reports of physicians who advertised medical exemptions online for a fee and the impact this could have on the long-term success of Senate Bill 277,” says Mohanty.
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