230086 Veterans' perceptions of an influenza vaccination campaign and materials: A user-tested revision of the VA's Infection, Don't Pass it On campaign

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Troy Knighton, EdS, LPC , Public Health Strategic Health Care Group, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC
Joy Pritchett, MS , Social Change Group/Center for Social Marketing and Behavior Change, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Pamela Hirsch, NP-C, MED, MS , Office Public Health and Environmental Hazards; Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Strategic Health Care Group, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC
Rebecca Ledsky, MBA , Center for Social Marketing and Behavior Change, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Lisa Tensuan, RN, BSN , AED, Washington, DC, DC
Janet Durfee, RN/MSN/APRN , Public Health Strategic Health Care Group, Department of Veteran Affairs, Washington, DC
Background: Within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Infection: Don't Pass It On (IDPIO) campaign develops and distributes educational resources that promote annual influenza vaccination at VA facilities. IDPIO materials are developed by a national group of VA professionals from multiple disciplines and program offices. Traditionally, VA exceeds the national benchmarks for flu vaccination among ages 50-64, and age 65 and older. IDPIO sought to gain a better understanding of how posters and other educational resources influence perceptions and knowledge of flu and flu vaccination. Methods: 20 focus-groups with veterans receiving healthcare at 10 VA facilities across the US were conducted. 161 veterans participated in groups segmented by receipt/non-receipt of an vaccination. A mix of ages and gender were recruited. Knowledge, attitudes, and awareness of flu vaccination and reactions to them were explored through scripted sessions; current materials were tested. Results: Veterans overwhelmingly knew of the flu campaign. Reactions differed by vaccination status. Vaccinated veterans generally responded positively to resources. Many non-vaccinated veterans maintained these efforts had no effect on them. Some said they might get vaccinated if they were shown reliable statistics about the benefits. Others said contact with vulnerable groups might influence them. Conclusions: While IDPIO resources are numerous and diverse, there was a demonstrated need for additional and expanded messaging. Implications included use of color, content and images that target specific groups, and emphasis on diversities among the veteran population.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate operational and logistical approaches used by the VA to achieve existing patient seasonal influenza vaccination rates. 2. Identify three areas in which VA expanded content areas to address beliefs and knowledge of influenza within diverse populations. 3. Describe three changes VA made in the use of images and to messaging within resource materials to appeal to multiple targeted populations.

Keywords: Communication, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the national seasonal flu and IDPIO program manager for the Veterans Health Administration which includes 150 acute care hospitals, 135 nursing homes and over 900 outpatient clinics. I provide program guidance and resources to promote seasonal fluenza vaccination among our VA employees and volunteers, and veterans enrolled in VA services. I am a seasoned trainer and presenter, having presented workshops and presentations at arious local and national conferences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.