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Influenza immunisation: attitudes and beliefs of UK health care workers

Influenza immunisation: attitudes and beliefs of UK health care workers
Influenza immunisation: attitudes and beliefs of UK health care workers
AIMS: To explore attitudes to influenza immunisation and rates of uptake among staff working in acute hospitals in the UK. Method: Among 6302 responders (54% of those mailed), 19% had taken up influenza immunisation during winter 2002/3. Vaccination was well tolerated, with a low prevalence of side effects (13%) and associated time off work (2%). The majority of subjects who accepted vaccination (66%) were most strongly influenced by the personal benefits of protection against influenza. Prevention of sickness absence and protection of patients were the prime motivation for only 10% and 7% of subjects respectively. Among 3967 who declined vaccination, the most common primary de-motivators were concern about safety (31%) and efficacy (28%). Twenty two per cent were most strongly deterred by lack of time to attend for vaccination. Free text answers indicated that 37% were resistant to uptake because of a perceived low ratio of personal benefit to adverse effects. Subjects said they would be persuaded to take up vaccination in future by easier access (36%), more information about personal benefit/risk (34%), and more information about effects on staff absence (24%). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that the uptake of influenza immunisation among UK health care workers remains low. There is some scope for increasing uptake by improving accessibility and encouragement from professional peers. However, our results suggest that perception of small personal benefit in relation to risk mitigates importantly against higher uptake of routine annual influenza vaccination by health care workers. Thus, resource might better be allocated to ensuring efficient targeted immunisation in epidemic years. Although the prevention of infection in patients and sickness absence in staff were not strong motivators for health care workers in this study, this might change if more supporting evidence became available.
1351-0711
223-227
Smedley, Julia
1e718a69-0e0c-4037-82b0-f207e1fc7254
Poole, Jason
88c69acd-8ff1-4d82-bd3d-8ea1720557e1
Waclawski, Eugene
fdb4412e-251f-4af7-8d71-14e77347ca4b
Stevens, Anthony
d15438e7-fad2-4457-8adb-a6eff67355a1
Harrison, John
3008e91f-36ed-4d1f-9ebf-0185bb5033df
Watson, John M.
b45e2c0c-9f79-40b8-9cca-587e8c557833
Hayward, Andrew
fbd5098c-bd3d-455d-b09a-4f3b403baecd
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Smedley, Julia
1e718a69-0e0c-4037-82b0-f207e1fc7254
Poole, Jason
88c69acd-8ff1-4d82-bd3d-8ea1720557e1
Waclawski, Eugene
fdb4412e-251f-4af7-8d71-14e77347ca4b
Stevens, Anthony
d15438e7-fad2-4457-8adb-a6eff67355a1
Harrison, John
3008e91f-36ed-4d1f-9ebf-0185bb5033df
Watson, John M.
b45e2c0c-9f79-40b8-9cca-587e8c557833
Hayward, Andrew
fbd5098c-bd3d-455d-b09a-4f3b403baecd
Coggon, David
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3

Smedley, Julia, Poole, Jason, Waclawski, Eugene, Stevens, Anthony, Harrison, John, Watson, John M., Hayward, Andrew and Coggon, David (2007) Influenza immunisation: attitudes and beliefs of UK health care workers. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 64 (4), 223-227. (doi:10.1136/oem.2005.023564).

Record type: Article

Abstract

AIMS: To explore attitudes to influenza immunisation and rates of uptake among staff working in acute hospitals in the UK. Method: Among 6302 responders (54% of those mailed), 19% had taken up influenza immunisation during winter 2002/3. Vaccination was well tolerated, with a low prevalence of side effects (13%) and associated time off work (2%). The majority of subjects who accepted vaccination (66%) were most strongly influenced by the personal benefits of protection against influenza. Prevention of sickness absence and protection of patients were the prime motivation for only 10% and 7% of subjects respectively. Among 3967 who declined vaccination, the most common primary de-motivators were concern about safety (31%) and efficacy (28%). Twenty two per cent were most strongly deterred by lack of time to attend for vaccination. Free text answers indicated that 37% were resistant to uptake because of a perceived low ratio of personal benefit to adverse effects. Subjects said they would be persuaded to take up vaccination in future by easier access (36%), more information about personal benefit/risk (34%), and more information about effects on staff absence (24%). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that the uptake of influenza immunisation among UK health care workers remains low. There is some scope for increasing uptake by improving accessibility and encouragement from professional peers. However, our results suggest that perception of small personal benefit in relation to risk mitigates importantly against higher uptake of routine annual influenza vaccination by health care workers. Thus, resource might better be allocated to ensuring efficient targeted immunisation in epidemic years. Although the prevention of infection in patients and sickness absence in staff were not strong motivators for health care workers in this study, this might change if more supporting evidence became available.

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Published date: 2007

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 44737
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/44737
ISSN: 1351-0711
PURE UUID: ec9ed82f-cee2-4f82-9912-1d9fa4b666bb
ORCID for David Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

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Date deposited: 09 Mar 2007
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:40

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Contributors

Author: Julia Smedley
Author: Jason Poole
Author: Eugene Waclawski
Author: Anthony Stevens
Author: John Harrison
Author: John M. Watson
Author: Andrew Hayward
Author: David Coggon ORCID iD

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