Influenza vaccination status and influenza-related perspectives and practices among US physicians

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Abstract

Background and Objective

The influenza vaccination rate among US healthcare workers (HCWs) remains low. This survey was designed to assess influenza vaccination status and related knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among a national sample of primary care physicians and subspecialists likely to see patients at high risk for complications from influenza.

Methods

We used a mail survey of a national random sample of 495 family physicians (FPs), 491 internists (IMs), 498 geriatricians (GERs), and 497 pulmonologists (PUDs).

Results

The overall response rate was 38%. Almost all respondents (87%) reported receiving an influenza vaccine during the 2003–2004 influenza season, with no significant difference across specialty groups (84% FPs, 87% IMs, 87% GERs, 91% PUDs). In a multivariate model, adjusted for physician specialty and age group, significant predictors of vaccination were: strong agreement that HCWs have professional responsibility to be vaccinated, access to vaccination on site and free of charge, strong worksite recommendation for HCWs to be vaccinated, and strong agreement that benefits of vaccination outweigh risk of side effects.

Conclusions

Physicians reported a high influenza vaccination rate. To improve these rates further, with likely benefits for other HCWs, worksite policies that facilitate access to vaccination and documentation of reductions in nosocomial influenza associated with HCW vaccination should continue to be pursued.

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