247362 A meta-analysis of studies of the effects of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines on the development of autism among children

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:15 AM

Kristin A. Hobson, MPH , Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Pedro Mateu , Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Chris L. S. Coryn, PhD , Assistant Professor of Evaluation, Measurement, and Research, Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Despite evidence from numerous sources, failing to demonstrate consistent evidence of autism due to measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccinations, parents continue to forego vaccinating their children against MMR due to fear that their children will develop an autism spectrum disorder (Baker, 2008). In 1998, Wakefield et al. concluded that MMR vaccines were causally associated with autism in children. Since then, the MMR vaccine has lost credibility and gained reticence from parents to vaccinate their children in the United States and Europe. Six years later, a meta-analysis done by Cochrane Collaboration provided evidence of no causal association between MMR vaccine and autism, and Institutes of Medicine (IOM) safety reviews failed to show a correlation between MMR and autism. However, this evidence has not been sufficient to eliminate the fear that MMR causes autism. Given that the 2004 Cochrane Collaboration meta-analysis is nearly eight years old, a new meta-analysis of primary studies on MMR and autism spectrum disorders was conducted. The meta-analysis included primary studies found in Elsevier, ERIC, Dissertations and Theses, Google Scholar, PsychInfo, ProQuest, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. In addition, the authors searched journals related to health. In addition, unpublished primary studies were sought by contacting known researchers who studied MMR and autism. With the studies, effect sizes were calculated and a weighted mean determined. Study results indicated no causal evidence of MMR vaccination with development of autism, strengthening the results of the 2004 meta-analysis conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the results of the meta-analysis. 2. Discuss the effect of MMR on autism spectrum disorders. 3. List procedures in conducting a meta-analysis.

Keywords: Children's Health, Public Health Education and Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author on the content I am responsible for because I have overseen health promotion programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.