Reasons why nurses decline influenza vaccination: a qualitative study

Anina Pless*, Stuart R. McLennan, Dunja Nicca, David M. Shaw, Bernice S. Elger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: To explore reasons of non-vaccinated nursing staff for declining seasonal influenza vaccination. The annual influenza vaccination of healthcare workers reduces morbidity and mortality among vulnerable patients. Still, vaccination rates remain very low, particularly in nursing staff. While several studies have explored barriers for healthcare workers to get vaccinated, most have used a quantitative approach.

Methods: Data were collected by in-depth individual semi-structured interviews with 18 nurses from a range of fields, positions in organizational hierarchy, work experience and hospitals in two German-speaking cantons in Switzerland. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using conventional content analysis.

Results: Three interconnected themes explaining why nurses decline influenza vaccination were identified: Firstly, the idea of maintaining a strong and healthy body, which was a central motif for rejecting the vaccine. Secondly, the wish to maintain decisional autonomy - especially over one's body and health. Thirdly, nurses' perception of being surrounded by an untrustworthy environment, which restricts their autonomy and seemingly is in opposition to their goal of maintaining a strong and healthy body.

Conclusion: Nurses tend to rely on conventional health beliefs rather than evidence based medicine when making their decision to decline influenza vaccination. Interventions to increase influenza vaccination should be tailored specifically for nurses. Empowering nurses by promoting decision-making skills and by strengthening their appraisal may be important factors to consider when planning future interventions to improve vaccination rates. The teaching of evidence-based decision-making should be integrated on different levels, including nurses' training curricula, their workspace and further education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Nursing
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Influenza
  • Nurses
  • Qualitative research
  • Vaccination
  • HEALTH-CARE WORKERS
  • SEASONAL INFLUENZA
  • RISK PERCEPTION
  • MOTIVATORS
  • BEHAVIORS
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • DECISION
  • COVERAGE
  • BELIEFS
  • DEATH

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Reasons why nurses decline influenza vaccination: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this