ABSTRACT: External cues to action and influenza vaccination among post-graduate trainee physicians in Toronto, Canada
Understanding factors affecting trainee physician choices about vaccination may permit the design of more effective vaccination programmes.
To identify factors associated with seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccination, an online questionnaire based on the health belief model was sent to trainee physicians registered at the post-graduate medical education office at the University of Toronto in September 2011.
963 complete responses were received from 1884 trainee physicians (51%); 28 (2.9%) reported an allergy to vaccine components and were excluded from further analysis. Reported seasonal influenza vaccination rates in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were 69% (648/935), 75% (708/935) and 76% (703/935), respectively; 788 (84%) reported receiving the A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine. In multivariable analysis, number of years of post-graduate training (OR for 4+ versus 1-3 post-graduate years 2.2 (95% CL 1.3, 3.8)) was associated with receipt of the 2009 pandemic vaccine, as were four components of the health belief model: odds ratios were 4.7 (95% CL 3.0, 7.5) for perceived severity, 1.9 (95% CL 1.2, 2.9) for perceived benefits, .35 (95% CL .21, .59) for perceived barriers, and 5.8 (95% CLI 3.6, 9.1) for external cues to action. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated respondents reported that their decisions were significantly influenced by encouragement from their colleagues, families and employers.
Self-reported vaccination coverage among trainee physicians was high. External cues to action appear to be particularly important in trainee physician vaccination decisions: active institutional promotion may increase influenza vaccination rates in trainees.