Certain Beliefs Motivate Health Care Workers to Get Flu
THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- The belief that a seasonal
flu shot is effective is far more likely to convince health care
workers to get vaccinated than reminding them it will help
safeguard patients, a new study suggests.
In many developed countries, it's difficult to persuade
frontline health care workers to get seasonal flu vaccinations in
order to protect patients from the flu, the researchers noted.
To examine the issue more closely, the investigators reviewed 13
studies that included a total of nearly 85,000 health care workers
in North America, Europe and Australia.
Overall, doctors were more willing than nurses to get a flu
vaccination, according to the study published March 7 in the
Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
The researchers identified a number of factors that had the
strongest influence on health care workers' decision to get
vaccinated. All of these factors were associated with a
greater-than-double increase in flu vaccination: knowing the
vaccine is effective; a willingness to prevent the spread of the
flu virus; a belief that the virus is highly contagious and that
prevention is important; having a family that is usually
vaccinated; and convenient access to vaccination.
Factors that had little influence on health care workers'
motivation to get vaccinated included: willingness to protect
either themselves or patients at risk of complications if they
caught the flu; previous experience with having the flu; being in
contact with children; or having direct patient contact.
"Influenza vaccination will only be successful in [health care workers] if they are properly educated and if the vaccine is easily accessible," researchers led by Dr. Giedre Gefenaite, at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, concluded in a journal news release.
The study authors noted that many differences exist between
seasonal flu and pandemic flu, but some of the pro-vaccination
factors identified in this study may be important in a
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
seasonal flu vaccination.
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