Immunization is one of the most significant achievements of public health over the last 100 years. Recently, however, people have been increasingly refusing to vaccinate. There are a large number of separate studies on how pervasive this behavior is and what fac- tors influence it, but no systematic review has been undertaken so far that looked at these studies as a whole. To conduct an analysis of studies that examine vaccine refusal and negative attitudes towards vaccination, focusing on the methodological approaches to the study of these problems and evaluation of their quality. A systematic review of English-language studies published between 1980 and 2015, using the Web of ScienceTM Core Collection database. The final review dealt with 31 papers. The studies in question were mainly conducted in North America and Western Europe. They were published three years after conclusion, on average. We have identified five different approaches to the study of these problems: 1) studies of parents’ attitudes and behavior; 2) analysis of vaccination records; 3) studies of attitudes and behavior among the general population; 4) studies of medical professionals’ attitudes, behavior, and experience; and 5) others. We found that theoretical models were not commonly used at the planning stage, while the studies also lacked a common approach to the operationalization of vaccine refusal, as well as of negative attitudes towards vaccination. Several promising directions have been identified for future studies on vaccine refusal and negative attitudes towards vac- cination.
Keywords: vaccination, vaccine refusal, attitudes towards vaccination, systematic review
Biobanking is an emerging medical, research, and social institution that has many im- plications for psychological science and practice. The bibliographic study of abstracts and full text articles retrieved from major databases (PsycInfo, PubMed, EBSCO, SAgE) indicates that the role of psychology in the establishment and functioning of biobanks is not well articulated. Two promising directions of biobank-based studies are concerned with studies of risk factors for various disorders and with genetic and epigenetic mecha- nisms of psychological and behavioral trait development, and are closely tied to a devel- oping model of a new “personalized” medicine. It is important to carefully select the psy- chological variables and measurements, with consideration of their suitability for genetic studies, possibilities for networking and sharing of results, economic limitations, and biobank purposes. Of special importance is a systemic foundation of mental functions that requires not only the assessment of efficacy, but also the search for simple, natural, and objectively observable components. Applied tasks of professional psychologists in the field of biobanking can be defined, such as donor selection and management of ethi- cal issues. As a new technology, biobanking poses several challenges to society and the individual that need to be studied in order to prevent misuse and to earn the public trust. The hidden dangers of eugenics-like ideas, of consumer practices with genetic products, and of over-emphasis on human enhancement are particularly stressed. We conclude that while biobanks represent a promising and fertile ground for psychological research and applications, there is a need for a comprehensive psychology of biobanking to make them fruitful.
Keywords: biobank, depositories of human biological samples, personalized medicine, molecular genetics of human behavior, phenotype description