To trust or not to trust (in doctors)? That is the question

Paul Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

9 Citations (Scopus)


The accompanying paper on vaccine distrust in France raises the ongoing and thorny issue of trust and distrust in childhood vaccinations, although this time from the perspective of doctors.1 The authors interviewed 16 French doctors who regularly treated adolescents and had experience of talking with adolescents and their parents about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. HPV vaccination rates are particularly low in France, and the authors set out to explore some of the reasons from the perspectives of doctors. One of the over-riding themes from the interviews was a distrust in the HPV vaccination, not in and of itself, but the stakeholders who had a part to play in vaccinations. They questioned their own knowledge of HPV vaccinations and ability to talk with adolescents about sexuality, distrusted the pharmaceutical industry to provide impartial information and were not fully convinced of the benefit-to-risk ratio of the HPV vaccination. All in all, these various levels of questioning and unease led to a general distrust in the HPV vaccination, leading to a situation whereby ‘the doctor becomes an involuntary instrument of the anti-vaccination discourse’.1
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-720
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • trust
  • Doctors
  • vaccine distrust
  • France
  • human papillomavirus
  • childhood vaccinations


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