Publication Date

Spring 4-13-2012


Nursing (B.S.N.)

Primary Subject Area

Health Sciences, Epidemiology; Health Sciences, Health Care Management; Health Sciences, Nursing; Health Sciences, Immunology; Health Sciences, Public Health


vaccination, vaccine, autism, autism spectrum disorder, MMR, measles, mumps, rubella, Wakefield


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Congenital, Hereditary, and Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities | Diagnosis | Epidemiology | Health Services Research | Maternal and Child Health | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Medical Education | Public Health and Community Nursing | Virus Diseases


A 1998 research study lead by Dr. Andrew Wakefield linked the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination as a probable cause to autism spectrum disorder. This publication has started a significant debate among healthcare professionals and instigated an anti-vaccination movement within the general population. This vaccination controversy was started by parents who readily accepted Wakefield’s findings as truth and frequently would choose to withdrawal the administration of vaccinations from their children’s care plans. There has also been disapproval by healthcare professionals over Wakefield’s study since numerous research teams have been unable to replicate his findings. This disagreement surrounding the MMR vaccination is likely putting millions of people, mostly children, at risk of contracting horrific diseases.

Brian Deer established the fraud in Wakefield’s original study and rejected Wakefield’s null hypothesis. Deer’s seven years of investigation affirmed the countless research studies that rejected Wakefield’s null hypothesis. Deer’s analysis of Dr. Wakefield’s study demonstrates how the public and the media can be blindly misled by scientific studies. When information has reached people’s grasp, it is hard to retract false information once it has permeated millions of households, which is what needs to be accomplished regarding the truth behind the relationship between the MMR vaccination and autism. The medical world could benefit from knowing the cause of this detrimental disorder, in an effort to treat patients better and possibly someday cure them.


This study investigates the proposed relationship between the MMR vaccination and autism spectrum disorder.