Attitudes and practices regarding influenza vaccination among emergency department personnel

J Emerg Med. 2009 Feb;36(2):201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2007.07.070. Epub 2008 Feb 20.


In the United States, infections related to influenza result in a huge burden to the health care system and emergency departments (EDs). Influenza vaccinations are a safe, cost-effective means to prevent morbidity and mortality. We sought to understand the factors that contribute to the professional and personal influenza vaccination practices of health care workers in the ED setting by assessing their knowledge, attitudes, and practices with regards to the influenza vaccine. A cross-sectional study of all full-time ED staff (nurses, emergency medicine residents, and emergency medicine faculty) at an urban academic medical center in Boston treating > 90,000 ED patients annually, was performed. We examined knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding personal influenza vaccination and support of an ED-based influenza vaccination program using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire. Of 130 ED staff, 126 individuals completed the survey (97% response rate). Overall, 69% of respondents reported that they were very or extremely likely to be vaccinated before the coming influenza season. Residents (94%) and attending physicians (82%) were significantly more likely than nurses (42%) to be vaccinated (p < 0.001). Respondents likely to be vaccinated this year were more likely to support a vaccination program for ED patients (80% vs. 55% of those not vaccinated,p < 0.001). Providing regular education on the efficacy of preventive vaccination therapy and dispelling misconceptions regarding adverse effects may reduce barriers to vaccination programs. An educational initiative may result in acceptance of influenza vaccination by ED providers themselves, which could result in increased support for an influenza vaccination program for ED patients.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Influenza, Human / psychology
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel, Hospital


  • Influenza Vaccines