Primary Care Professionals' Attitudes Towards Vaccination Recommendation for Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2022 Jul 2;izac129. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izac129. Online ahead of print.


Background: Immunization among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is suboptimal. We sought to characterize attitudes of US primary care professionals (PCPs) towards immunization practices for patients with IBD.

Methods: Using a web-based opt-in panel of PCPs (DocStyles survey, spring 2021, cross-sectional study), we assessed likelihood of PCPs' recommending influenza, pneumococcal disease, herpes zoster, and human papilloma virus vaccinations for IBD patients by PCP characteristics and availability of clinical tools. Reasons for unlikelihood of recommending vaccines and approaches to improve vaccine recommendation were examined.

Results: Among 1503 PCPs, 64% recommended all vaccines. Herpes zoster vaccine was most likely to be recommended (89.8%) and pneumococcal vaccine was least likely (74.0%). Clinical tools including decision support based on electronic health records (EHRs; 48.9%) and staff tracking of patients' vaccine needs (36.3%) were significantly associated with likelihood of recommending vaccines (P < .001). A greater likelihood of vaccine recommendation was observed for pediatricians vs other medical specialties, group outpatient clinic vs other worksites, and seeing >50 patients/week (P < .05). One-third of PCPs were unlikely to recommend ≥1 vaccine, and the top reason reported was unfamiliarity with vaccine guidelines for patients with IBD (48.0%). A review of guidelines or continued medical education (63.0%) and decision support from EHRs (51.2%) were the most frequently selected approaches identified to improve certainty of vaccine recommendation.

Conclusions: There is room for improvement of vaccination recommendations by PCPs. Promoting continuing education and use of clinical tools may help support PCP immunization practices for patients with IBD.

Keywords: attitudes; inflammatory bowel disease; professional care professionals; vaccination.

Plain language summary

In a survey of 1503 primary care professionals, pneumococcal vaccines were the least likely to be recommended to patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Promoting continuing education and use of clinical practice tools may improve vaccination recommendations for IBD patients.