Pattern of exposure to information and its impact on seasonal influenza vaccination uptake in nurses.J Hosp Infect. 2017 Dec; 97(4):376-383.JH
Uptake of annual influenza vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) varies, and remains at a suboptimal level in many countries. As HCWs are often exposed to a variety of information about vaccination, the pattern of exposure may impact their decision; this deserves further investigation.
Practising nurses in Hong Kong were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey in February 2016, after the winter seasonal peak. The questionnaire covered demographics, work nature and experiences, vaccination uptake history and reasons for vaccination decisions. Two behavioural categories for access to information were defined - passive exposure to information and active information-seeking - differentiated by the source, type and nature of information accessed. Chi-squared test, Mann-Whitney U-test and logistic regression were performed to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated nurses.
In total, 1177 valid returns were received from nurses. The median age of respondents was 32 years and 86% were female. The overall vaccination rate was 33%. Passive exposure to information from the workplace, professional body and social network was not predictive of vaccination decision, but passive exposure to information from mass media was predictive [odds ratio (OR) 1.78]. Active information-seeking, such as consulting a senior (OR 2.46), organizing promotional activities (OR 2.85) and undertaking an information search (OR 2.43), was significantly associated with increased vaccination uptake. A cumulative effect could be demonstrated for active information-seeking (OR 1.86), but not for passive exposure to information.
The current strategy of promotions and campaigns for seasonal influenza vaccination in HCWs may not be effective in increasing vaccination coverage. Measures targeting information-seeking behaviours may serve as an alternative approach.