Background: Influenza vaccination rates among adults, especially in minority populations, remain below national goals of 90%. This study investigated in diverse settings, facilitators of and barriers to patient influenza vaccination from the physician's perspective.
Methods: Two-stage, stratified, random-cluster sampling was employed to select 71 clinicians from inner-city, rural, suburban, and Veterans Affairs (VA) practices, and a random sample of 925 of their patients aged >/=65 years. Questionnaires and interviews based on the PRECEDE-PROCEED framework assessed clinician factors. Associations among clinician beliefs, practice characteristics, patient beliefs, and self-reported influenza vaccination status were determined.
Results: The clinician response rate was 85% (60/71). Several factors of the PRECEDE-PROCEED framework were associated with higher influenza vaccination rates. For instance, patients at practices with express vaccination clinics had higher vaccination rates than at clinics without such immunization programs (87% v 76%, p =0.01). Using multivariate models, influenza vaccination status was related to several patient factors, including plans to receive influenza vaccination next year (p <0.001); belief that those who are not vaccinated will contract influenza (p =0.049); and history of being screened for colon cancer (p =0.023). Influenza vaccination status was also related to several physician factors, including awareness of recommendation to vaccinate asthmatics (p =0.024); agreement with these recommendations (p =0.004); and practice type and setting ("strata"), of which the VA was highest.
Conclusion: Through proactive office systems and education, physicians may influence patients' intentions to be vaccinated and thereby increase influenza vaccination rates.