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Am J Infect Control. 2003 Oct;31(6):336-41.

Theory and models for planning and evaluating institutional influenza prevention and control programs.

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  • 1Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



Low rates of staff influenza vaccine coverage occur in many health care facilities. Many programs do not offer vaccination to physicians or to volunteers, and some programs do not measure coverage or do so only for a subset of staff. The use of theory in planning and evaluation may prevent these problems and lead to more effective programs.


We discuss the use of theory in the planning and evaluation of health programs and demonstrate how it can be used for the evaluation and planning of a hospital or nursing home influenza control program.


The application of theory required explicit statement of the goals of the program and examination of the assumptions underlying potential program activities. This indicated that staff should probably be considered as employees, volunteers, physicians, and contractors of the facility. It also directed attention to evidence-based strategies for increasing vaccination rates.


The application of a program planning model to a problem of institutional influenza prevention may prevent planners from excluding important target populations and failing to monitor the important indicators of program success.

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