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Attitudes toward influenza vaccination improvement strategies in Veterans Affairs health care workers providing care for patients with spinal cord injuries and disorders: Acceptability of a declination form program.

LaVela SL, Etingen B, Miskevics S. Attitudes toward influenza vaccination improvement strategies in Veterans Affairs health care workers providing care for patients with spinal cord injuries and disorders: Acceptability of a declination form program. Vaccine. 2015 Aug 26; 33(36):4602-9.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Influenza is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. The most effective way to prevent influenza or severe consequences from the illness is vaccination, and key organizations recommend that all health care workers (HCWs) be vaccinated annually for influenza. Recent literature suggests declination form programs (DFPs) are a useful approach to improve HCW influenza vaccination rates. OBJECTIVE: To understand support for and beliefs about use of an influenza vaccination DFP, and how this is associated with HCW beliefs about other influenza vaccination improvement strategies. METHODS: Data were collected via a cross-sectional mailed national survey. Participants included HCWs providing care to Veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) from 23 nationwide Veterans Affairs facilities. Analyses included bivariate analyses of outcomes among DFP supporters vs. non-supporters. RESULTS: Of the HCW respondents, 67% reported that they would support a DFP at their facility. A greater proportion of HCWs who support (vs. do not support) DFPs reported receiving an annual influenza vaccination (86.35% vs. 65.81%, p < 0.0001). Similarly, a significantly greater proportion of HCWs who support DFPs (vs. do not support) reported willingness to receive an influenza vaccination (83.79% vs. 61.48%, p < 0.0001) and nasal spray influenza vaccination (45.75% vs. 32.50%, p = 0.0156). HCWs who support DFPs were more likely to report a great deal of influence in almost all typical vaccination improvement campaign strategies on their decision to be vaccinated, and less likely to endorse commonly provided reasons for refusing vaccination as valid. CONCLUSION: More HCWs who support DFPs engage in important influenza-related health behaviors (e.g., vaccination), and support other influenza vaccination improvement strategies. Facilities may benefit from implementing DFPs as part of their vaccination improvement campaign. Support for DFPs among HCWs is high, suggesting implementing this as a policy would be well-received by staff, and potentially effective in increasing HCW influenza vaccination.





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