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Survey of Australian Inpatients on Vaccination Status and Perceptions of Influenza Vaccination

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OBJECTIVE: To assess vaccination status, potential influences upon vaccination status, and attitudes and beliefs about vaccination among hospital inpatients.

DESIGN: This prospective, cross-sectional audit assessed vaccination status for important communicable diseases, patient perceptions about the influenza vaccination, and possible influences on vaccination status. Information was collected during face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire.

SETTING: This study was undertaken in a general teaching hospital in suburban Adelaide, South Australia.

PARTICIPANTS: The study participants comprised a convenience sample of 50 inpatients at the hospital from April 25, 2011, to May 18, 2011.

INTERVENTION: Interview and structured questionnaire at bedside.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Vaccination status for seasonal influenza, pneumococcal vaccine, diphtheriatetanus-pertussis/diphtheria-tetanus vaccination, herpes zoster virus, and hepatitis B were assessed for inpatients. Qualitative information regarding patient perceptions about the influenza vaccination was also surveyed. Possible influences on vaccination status including comorbidities or high-risk conditions, area of residence, age, and gender were also assessed.

RESULTS: The self-reported vaccination rates were: seasonal influenza vaccine 2010 (64%), seasonal influenza vaccine 2011 (52%), pneumococcal vaccine (46%), diphtheria-tetanuspertussis/ diphtheria-tetanus vaccination (70%), herpes zoster vaccination (34%), and hepatitis B vaccination (40%). Vaccination was significantly more common among those older than 64 years of age (P = 0.01), with 46% of patients older than 64 years vaccinated against influenza. There was no significant association between vaccination status and other characteristics such as gender, number of risk factors, recent hospital admission, and living in a residential facility. Regarding perceptions toward the influenza vaccine, the only factor associated with significantly increased likelihood of vaccination was self-reported risk perception (P = 0.03). The majority of patients described positive views about influenza vaccine efficacy and expressed willingness to receive the vaccine if recommended by their doctor.

CONCLUSIONS: In this audit, vaccination status appeared to be age-dependent, with higher vaccination coverage among older patients. Those who perceived that the influenza vaccine is associated with many side effects were less likely to be vaccinated. Pharmacists may have a role in encouraging older adults to be vaccinated.

Keywords: ACIP = Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices; Attitudes; DTPa/dT = Diphtheria-tetanuspertussis/diphtheria-tetanus vaccination; HMR = Home Medicines Review; HZV = Herpes zoster virus; Hospital inpatients; Influenza; NIP = National Immunisation Program; RGH = Repatriation General Hospital; Vaccination; WHO = World Health Organization; World Health Organization

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-08-01

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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