Numerous Factors Influence Healthcare Professionals' Decisions About Influenza Vaccination

Asma, et al. (2016) report the results of their study that aimed to identify factors affecting vaccination against influenza among healthcare professionals.

The researchers used a multi-center, cross-sectional design to conduct an online self-administered questionnaire with physicians and nurses at state and foundation university hospitals in the southeast of Turkey, between Jan. 1, 2015 and Feb. 1, 2015. The five participating hospitals provided staff email address lists filtered for physicians and nurses. The questionnaire comprised multiple choice questions covering demographic data, knowledge sources, and Likert-type items on factors affecting vaccination against influenza. The target response rate was 20 percent.

In total, 642 (22%) of 2,870 healthcare professionals (1,220 physicians and 1,650 nurses) responded to the questionnaire. Participants’ mean age was 29.6 ± 9.2 years (range 17-62 years); 177 (28.2%) were physicians and 448 (71.3%) were nurses. The rate of regular vaccination was 9.2% (15.2% for physicians and 8.2% for nurses). Increasing age, longer work duration in health services, being male, being a physician, working in an internal medicine department, having a chronic disease, and living with a person over 65 years old significantly increased vaccination compliance (p < 0.05).

The researchers found differences between vaccine-compliant and non-compliant groups for expected benefit from vaccination, social influences, and personal efficacy (p < 0.05). Univariate analysis showed differences between the groups in perceptions of personal risks, side effects, and efficacy of the vaccine (p < 0.05). Multivariate analysis found that important factors influencing vaccination behavior were work place, colleagues’ opinions, having a chronic disease, belief that vaccination was effective, and belief that flu can be prevented by natural ways.

The researchers conclude that numerous factors influence healthcare professionals’ decisions about influenza vaccination. Strategies to increase the ratio of vaccination among physicians and nurses should consider all of these factors to increase the likelihood of success.

Reference: Süheyl Asma S, Akan H and Uysal Y, et al. Factors effecting influenza vaccination uptake among healthcare workers: a multi-center cross-sectional study. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2016;16:192