Effectiveness of a co-ordinated nation-wide programme to improve influenza immunisation rates in The Netherlands

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2000 Dec;18(4):237-41. doi: 10.1080/028134300448814.


Objective: To assess t he effectiveness of a nation-widemultifaceted intervention programme involving general practitioners (GPs) on influenza immunisation practice.

Design: Pragmatic before-after trial using pre- and post-measurement questionnaires.

Setting and subjects: Random sample of Dutch general practices.

Intervention: During a 2.5-year period (1995-1997) a variety of methods was implemented to enhance physician adoption of the immunisation guideline, including employment of facilitators, information-based methods, small-group consensus meetings, individual instructions and introduction of supportive computer software.

Main outcome measures: Influenza immunisation practice and influenza vaccine uptake.

Results: In 988 practices all influenza vaccination characteristics markedly improved from 1995 to 1997. The most significant changes were found in computerised marking of high-risk patients (from 54% to 82% of practices), computerised selection (41% to 77%) and sending personal reminders (40% to 77%). Vaccine uptake increased from 9% to 16% of the practice population (78% increase, p < 0.001). Uptake was most prominent in urban and single-handed practices and in those with more patients insured through the National Health Service, low GP workload and low baseline uptake.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that a co-ordinated approach involving primary care physicians can succeed in enlarging the public health impact of a population-based preventive measure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Family Practice*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / organization & administration*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration*
  • Netherlands
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric