Volume 35, Issue 18, Pages 2279-2530 (25 April 2017)
Moving the needle on nursing staff influenza vaccination in long-term care: Results of an evidence-based intervention
Original Research Article
Cori L. Ofstead, Miriam R. Amelang, Harry P. Wetzler, Litjen Tan
Influenza vaccination rates among healthcare providers (HCPs) in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are commonly below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90%. This study was conducted to develop and evaluate an intervention program designed to increase influenza uptake among HCPs in LTCFs.
This study was conducted in four Midwestern LTCFs. Baseline interviews, surveys, and administrative data analysis were performed following the 2013–2014 influenza season. Interventions implemented during the 2014–2015 season were based on the health belief and ecological models and included goal-setting worksheets, policy development, educational programs, kick-off events, incentives, a vaccination tracking roster, and facility-wide communication about vaccine uptake among HCPs. Outcomes were evaluated in 2015.
At baseline, 50% of 726 nursing staff employed during the 2013–2014 influenza season had documented receipt of influenza vaccine (Site A: 34%; Site B: 5%; Site C: 75%; Site D: 62%), and 31% of 347 survey respondents reported absenteeism due to respiratory illness. At follow-up, 85% of HCPs had documented receipt of influenza vaccine (p < 0.01) and 19% of 323 survey respondents reported absenteeism due to respiratory illness (p < 0.01). Vaccination rates among respondents’ family members increased from 31% at baseline to 44% post-intervention (p < 0.01). Reasons for declining vaccination did not change following exposure to educational programs, but HCPs were more likely to recommend vaccination to others after program implementation.
Vaccination rates among long-term care HCPs and their family members increased significantly and HCP absenteeism decreased after the implementation of multifaceted interventions based on an ecological model. The findings suggest that major increases in HCP vaccination can be achieved in LTCFs. More research is needed to evaluate the impact of increased HCP vaccination on the health and productivity of LTCF employees, their family members, and residents.