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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Aug;53(8):1354-9.

What predicts influenza vaccination status in older Americans over several years?

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Department of Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.



To examine the correlates of repeat influenza vaccination and determine whether there are age-group (50-64, > or =65) differences in decision-making behavior.


Longitudinal survey study.


Two community health centers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Two hundred fifty-three patients aged 50 and older in 2001 who visited one of the health centers and completed telephone surveys in 2002 and 2003 after the respective influenza seasons.


Influenza vaccination status, demographic characteristics, and decision-making behavior were self-reported. Vaccination status was identified for three seasons: 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003. A three-level outcome was defined as unvaccinated all 3 years, vaccinated one to two times over 3 years, and vaccinated all 3 years. Factor analysis identified three decision-making behaviors.


Predictors of being vaccinated across 3 years included being older, the belief that social forces influence vaccination behavior, and disagreement with the view that vaccine is detrimental.


National educational efforts should be intensified to dispel the myths about alleged adverse events, including contracting influenza from inactivated influenza vaccine. Physicians should continue to share their personal experiences of treating patients with influenza, including the incidence of hospitalization and death.

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