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Welcome to the Opel Lab

The Opel Lab focuses on clinician-parent communication and medical decision-making, with a primary goal to improve child health by identifying effective clinician communication strategies that positively influence parent acceptance of recommended interventions for children. Specific research topics include vaccine communication and delivery, shared decision-making, and the clinician-parent relationship.

Current Research/Scholarship Projects

Dr. Opel’s current research projects focus on vaccine communication and shared decision-making. This works includes collaboration with investigators at the University of Colorado-Denver Portland State University, Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Seattle-King County Public Health, Washington State Department of Health, and the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research. In addition to grant-funded research, Dr. Opel also conducts scholarship in health policy and ethics.

Evaluation of the Presumptively Initiating Vaccines and Optimizing Talk with Motivational Interviewing (PIVOT with MI) Intervention

The overall goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of a novel and innovative provider communication strategy on vaccine acceptance among vaccine-hesitant parents.
Source of Support: National Institutes of Health
Role: Multiple Principal Investigator 

Validation of a Framework for Shared Decision-Making in Pediatrics

The overall goal of this project is to empirically refine a framework for implementing SDM in pediatrics using a diverse set of decision-making scenarios across multiple pediatric disciplines and child ages.
Source of Support: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Role: Principal Investigator 

Adolescent Health Immunization Partnership

The major goal of this project is to meet the health needs of youth through promoting preventive healthcare with an emphasis on increasing vaccination coverage for adolescents and teens in King County.
Source of Support: Public Health – Seattle and King County (PHSKC)/ Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP)
Role: Principal Investigator 

Highlighted Publications

  1. Opel DJ, Mangione-Smith R, Taylor JA, Korfiatis C, Wiese C, Catz S, and Martin D. Development of a Survey to Identify Vaccine-Hesitant Parents: The Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines Survey. Human Vaccines 2011; 7(4): 419-425. PMID: 21389777; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3360071
  2. Opel DJ, Heritage J, Taylor JA, Mangione-Smith R, Salas HS, Nguyen V, Zhou C, Robinson J. The Architecture of Provider-Parent Vaccine Discussions at Health Supervision Visits. Pediatrics 2013;132(6):1037-46. PMID: 24190677; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3838535
  3. Opel DJ, Mangione-Smith R, Robinson JD, Heritage J, DeVere V, Salas HS, Zhou C, and Taylor JA. The Influence of Provider Communication Behaviors on Parental Vaccine Acceptance and Visit Experience. Am J Public Health 2015;105(10):1998-2004. PMID: 25790386; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4566548
  4. Opel DJ, Sonne JA, Mello MM. Vaccination without Litigation: Addressing Religious Objections to Hospital Influenza-Vaccination Mandates. New Engl J Med 2018;378(9):785-788. PMID: 29384718. 
  5. Opel DJ, Lo B, Peek M. Addressing Mistrust about COVID-19 Vaccines among Patients of Color. Ann Intern Med 2021: May;174(5):698-700. PMID: 33556271. 

View a full list of Dr. Opel's publications on MyBibliography.

Participate in Research

Help us answer questions about childhood health and illness and help other children in the future. Learn more.

Contact Us

Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics and Palliative Care

For questions or inquiries,
call: 206-884-8355.

Physical Address

1900 Ninth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101

Mailing Address

1900 Ninth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101