A systematic review of interventions to improve uptake of pertussis vaccination in pregnancy

Hassen Mohammed, Mark McMillan, Claire T. Roberts, Helen S. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Background Maternal pertussis vaccination has been introduced in several countries to prevent pertussis morbidity and mortality in infants too young to be vaccinated. Our review aimed to systematically collect and summarize the available evidence on the effectiveness of interventions used to improve pertussis vaccination uptake in pregnant women. Methods We conducted a systematic search of MEDLINE/PubMed, PMC and CINAHL. Before and after studies and those with a concurrent control group were considered for inclusion. Standardized effect sizes were described as the ratio of the odds to be vaccinated in the intervention group compared with the standard care group and absolute benefit increase (ABI) were calculated. Results Six studies were included in the review, of which three were randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Strategies to improve uptake were focused on healthcare providers, pregnant women, or enhancing vaccine access. Healthcare provider interventions included provider reminder, education, feedback and standing orders. Interventions directed at pregnant women focused solely on education. Observational studies showed: (1) the provision of maternal pertussis vaccination by midwives at the place of antenatal care has improved uptake of pertussis vaccine during pregnancy from 20% to 90%; (2) introduction of an automated reminder within the electronic medical record was associated with an improvement in the pertussis immunization rate from 48% to 97%; (3) an increase in prenatal pertussis vaccine uptake from 36% to 61% after strategies to increase provider awareness of recommendations were introduced. In contrast to these findings, interventions in all three RCTs (2 involved education of pregnant women, 1 had multi-component interventions) did not demonstrate improved vaccination uptake. Conclusions Based on the existing research, we recommend incorporating midwife delivered maternal immunization programs at antenatal clinics, use of a provider reminder system to target unvaccinated pregnant women and include maternal pertussis immunization as part of standard antenatal care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0214538
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2019 Mohammed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Systematic Review
  • Interventions
  • Pertussis
  • Vaccination
  • Pregnancy


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