Author(s): Humair JP, Buchs CR, Stalder H
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Though influenza is a serious health problem for elderly people, their influenza vaccination rate remains low in Switzerland. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to assess the impact of an intervention combining multiple strategies to promote influenza vaccination of elderly patients in primary care. METHODS: We conducted a pre-/post-intervention study in a university-based primary care clinic in Geneva, Switzerland, where an annual community-wide campaign promotes influenza vaccination of people at high risk. We included 318 and 346 patients aged over 64 years attending the clinic during the last trimesters of 1995 and 1996, respectively. The intervention included: patient information by leaflets and posters, a walk-in vaccination clinic, a training workshop for physicians, record reminders and peer comparison feedback on vaccination performance. Using the computerized database, medical records and the vaccination register, we measured influenza immunization rates and relative benefits (RBs) of the intervention. RESULTS: Influenza vaccine uptake globally increased from 21.7\% before the intervention to 51.7\% thereafter. Among 144 patients attending in both phases, the immunization rate rose from 29.2 to 69.4\% [matched RB estimate () = 2.4; 95\% confidence interval (CI) 1.9-3.0]; vaccine uptake increased particularly among all chronic patients ( = 3.2; 95\% CI 2.2-4.6), cardiac patients ( = 3.4; 95\% CI 2.1-5.4) and diabetics ( = 3.3; 95\% CI 1.9-5.9). For 376 patients attending in a single phase, the vaccination rate rose from 15.5 to 39.1\% (adjusted RB = 2.8; 95\% CI 1.8-4.4), particularly among the elderly aged 65-75 years (adjusted RB = 5.7; 95\% CI 2.7-12.4). CONCLUSION: An intervention combining strategies targeting patients, physicians and care delivery significantly increased influenza vaccine uptake of elderly patients in primary care, particularly those at high risk.
This article was published in Fam Pract and referenced in Journal of Womens Health Care