Attitudes and beliefs of healthcare workers about influenza vaccination

Carmel Halpin , Bernie Reid

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Abstract

Background Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all healthcare workers (HCWs) to help reduce the risk of contracting the virus and transmitting it to vulnerable people, especially older adults in residential care facilities. Vaccination uptake among HCWs remains low. Aim To investigate HCWs' attitudes towards, and beliefs about, seasonal influenza vaccination in a residential care facility for older adults in the Republic of Ireland. Method Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Results A total of 95 questionnaires were distributed, and 35 (37%) HCWs completed and returned them. During the 2016-17 flu season, 20 (57%) respondents were vaccinated. Primary predictors of vaccination acceptance were the belief that being healthy should not mitigate against requiring the vaccine (r=0.7, P=0.01), protection of self and family (r=0.67, P=0.01), protection of patients (r=0.592, P=0.01) and agreement with mandatory vaccination (r=0.351, P=0.039). Reasons for vaccination avoidance were misconceptions about the need for vaccination among healthy HCWs (67%), efficacy of the vaccine (60%), lack of trust in the vaccine (47%) and a belief that the vaccine may cause flu (47%). Conclusion Addressing HCWs' beliefs relating to the personal benefits of vaccination while simultaneously correcting misconceptions may help to increase uptake among those working in residential care settings for older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1154
Number of pages10
JournalNursing Older People
Volume31
Issue number2
Early online date6 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • care homes
  • infection
  • influenza
  • older people
  • quantitative research
  • vaccines
  • viral infections
  • Quantitative research
  • Vaccines
  • Care homes
  • Infection
  • Influenza
  • Older people
  • Viral infections

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