Online Program

Relationship between knowledge, perceived risk, and influenza vaccine uptake in health science students

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:38 a.m. - 10:56 a.m.

Diana Willeman-Buckelew, PhD, Communith Health Sciences Department/Health Sciences Program, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke, VA
Aimee Ferraro, PhD, MPH, College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all healthcare personnel be vaccinated annually for influenza and Healthy People 2020's objective is to increase seasonal influenza vaccination coverage of healthcare personnel to 90%. Health science students have direct patient contact in their clinical courses; therefore, unvaccinated students could potentially infect patients and others with influenza. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine what influence perceived risk of contracting influenza and knowledge about influenza and vaccination had on the decision to receive the vaccine and to identify predictors of vaccine uptake. Methods: An internet-based survey was completed by 299 undergraduate health science students that assessed knowledge, perceived risk, and influenza vaccine uptake. Results: Self-reported influenza vaccine uptake was 44.3%. Results indicated that there were significant differences between knowledge (p = .029), perceived risk (p < .001), and influenza vaccine uptake. Multivariate logistic regression found that perceived risk (p < .001), patient contact separate from clinical courses (p = .011), and prior vaccination (p < .001) were predictors of vaccine uptake. Lack of time, inconvenience, and not wanting the vaccine were the most common barriers reported for not receiving the influenza vaccine. Conclusion: Influenza vaccine coverage of health science students fell below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90% and does not meet the recommendations of the CDC. Health science students have the ethical responsibility to follow evidence-based infection control practices and be vaccinated annually for influenza.

Learning Areas:

Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the relationship between knowledge, perceived risk, and influenza vaccine uptake in health science students. Identify the predictors of influenza vaccine uptake in health science students. List the common barriers reported by health science students for not receiving the influenza vaccine.

Keyword(s): Immunizations, Health Care Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator for this study which was conducted for my dissertation at Walden University. I have a PhD in public health with a specialization in epidemiology (May 2013). My background includes working in either forensic, bone marrow transplant, or clinical laboratories for almost 20 years and teaching college-level courses since 1990.
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.