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Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2009 Oct;52(10):945-52. doi: 10.1007/s00103-009-0871-z.

[Physicians as key communicators of the influenza vaccination for the elderly, patients with chronic conditions, and health care workers. Results of a nationwide survey in the context of the national influenza vaccination campaign].

[Article in German]

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Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung, 51109 Köln.


The Federal Center for Health Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung - BZgA) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) started a national vaccination campaign against influenza in October 2006. Main target groups are people aged 60 and above, patients with chronic conditions, and health care workers (HCWs). The recommendation of the physician is very important for a patient's decision to be vaccinated against influenza. Therefore, measures to increase the vaccination rate of the elderly and patients with chronic conditions were aimed at physicians as key communicators. This survey was designed to assess influenza vaccination status of physicians (general practitioners, internists, pediatricians) and their employees. Furthermore, influenza-related attitudes of the physicians and the percentage of physicians who recommend the vaccination to target groups were determined. A telephone-based survey (computer-assisted telephone interview - CATI) was conducted. A total of 700 physicians participated (432 general practitioners, 178 internists and 90 pediatricians). Physicians reported an influenza vaccination rate of 73% during the 2006/2007 influenza season. Most physicians were vaccinated to protect themselves. A total of 93% of the respondents consider influenza as dangerous for elderly patients, 94% for patients with chronic conditions, and 59% for HCWs. Vaccination is seen as very effective to prevent an influenza infection by the physicians (of 93% for the elderly, of 94% for the chronically ill, and of 83% for HCWs). Half of the physicians recommend influenza vaccination to the elderly, the chronically ill as well as to HCWs. Though physicians are well aware of the potential danger of an influenza infection for these target groups, the percentage of physicians (50%) who recommend vaccination is too low. Future optimization measures of the influenza campaign of BZgA and RKI will focus more closely on physicians' recommendations to patients of target groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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