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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Mar;68(3):341-4.

Fear of injections in young adults: prevalence and associations.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases and Travel Clinic, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.


Fear of injections may interfere with receipt of vaccines. The frequency, associations, and precipitators of fear-provoking factors of 400 travelers visiting a travel health clinic were evaluated. The median age of this group was 25, 7% were medical staff members, and 2.8% were regular injectors (insulin). Eighty-five (21.7%; 95% confidence interval, 17.3-25.6%) of the travelers indicated that they were afraid of injections, and in 8.2%, the fear was unreasonably intense. Multivariate analysis revealed that watching other people being vaccinated, fear of pain, needle size, and a history of fainting were highly and independently associated with injection phobia. The sensitivity, specificity, and discrimination accuracy of this model were 79.5%, 78.0%, and 78.3%, respectively. Injection phobia and a bad past vaccination experience were significantly associated with fainting. Perceived empathy, on the other hand, was a significant protective factor. Fear of injections was common in this cohort and was highly associated with past fainting after vaccination.

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