Attitudes and beliefs of healthcare workers about influenza vaccination
Evidence and practice    

Attitudes and beliefs of healthcare workers about influenza vaccination

Carmel Halpin Health promotion officer, Health Service Executive Dublin North East, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Bernie Reid Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

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.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1154

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Halpin C, Reid B (2019) Attitudes and beliefs of healthcare workers about influenza vaccination. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2019.e1154

Published online: 06 March 2019

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