Draper, Janet and Ward, Leigh
A review of the factors involved in older people's decision making with regard to influenza vaccination: a literature review.
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17(1) pp. 5–16.
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Aims and objectives. The aim of this paper was to develop an understanding of the factors involved in older people's decision making with regard to influenza vaccination to inform strategies to improve vaccine uptake and reduce morbidity and mortality.
Background. Influenza is a major cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide. In the UK, it accounts for 3000–6000 deaths annually; 85% of these deaths are people aged 65 and over. Despite this, and the widespread and costly annual government campaigns, some older people at risk of influenza and the associated complications remain reluctant to take advantage of the offer of vaccination.
Methods. A review of the English language literature referring to older people published between 1996 and 2005 was the method used. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were identified and applied.
Results. The majority of the literature was quantitative in nature, investigating personal characteristics thought to be predictors of uptake, such as age, sex, co-morbidity, educational level, income and area of residence. However, there was little discussion of the possible reasons for the significance of these factors and conflict between findings was often evident, particularly between studies employing different methodologies. Other factors identified were prior experience, concerns about the vaccine, perceived risk and advice and information.
Relevance to clinical practice. The wealth of demographic information available will be useful at a strategic level in targeting groups identified as being unlikely to accept vaccination. However, the promotion of person-centred ways of working that value the health beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and subjective experiences of older people is likely to be more successful during individual encounters designed to promote acceptance. Without more research in investigating these concepts, our understanding is inevitably limited.
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