230130 Seasonal influenza vaccination in VA healthcare facilities: Messages and approaches for clinical and nonclinical staff

Sunday, November 7, 2010

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
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
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: The US Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Infection: Don't Pass It On (IDPIO) campaign develops and distributes resources to the VA community to promote annual seasonal influenza vaccination. This study sought opportunities to increase staff vaccination rates by conducting user research for insight.

Methods: One hundred fifty clinical and nonclinical, vaccinated and non-vaccinated staff participated in 20 focus-groups at 10 VA healthcare facilities across the US. Focus-groups explored prevention and influenza-related health beliefs, influenza vaccination knowledge, personal experience, IDPIO message exposure and reactions as well as thoughts about messaging and materials.

Results: Receiving seasonal influenza vaccination was rarely identified as a disease prevention strategy. Some clinical staff viewed themselves as vaccination role models; others felt pressure from supervisors. Easy access to vaccination alone was insufficient and often unavailable, at least to nonclinical staff. All staff wanted more detailed information about influenza vaccine, transmission, and consequences of vaccination or non-vaccination. Nonclinical staff wanted people like themselves on materials and use of easy-to-read messages.

Conclusions: Additional messaging is needed that focuses on the needs of different types of staff. Information needs were similar, but some messaging was too sophisticated for nonclinical staff. Aligning vaccination explicitly with other public health strategies, including recommendations from trusted sources (like physicians recommendations on smoking cessation), clearer personal relevance of information (documentation of accrued benefits, recognition of self in images), and alignment with existing habits (childhood vaccinations) provide opportunities to increase vaccination.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe operational and logistical approaches used by the VA to achieve existing staff seasonal influenza vaccination rates. Identify differences between clinical and nonclinical healthcare facility staff’s knowledge and attitudes related to getting an annual seasonal influenza vaccination. Describe changes made in a health promotion campaign to better target clinical and nonclinical healthcare facility staff messages and materials.

Keywords: Health Care Workers, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee research and evaluation activities with regard to influenza, vaccination and health care seeking supports and barriers.
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.