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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2010 Apr;45(4):656-61. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2009.209. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

Patient and family education in HSCT: improving awareness of respiratory virus infection and influenza vaccination. A descriptive study and brief intervention.

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Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and NHMRC Clinical Centre for Research Excellence in Bioethics and Haematological Malignancies, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.


To prevent respiratory virus (RV) infection after hematopoietic SCT (HSCT), patient and household members are advised to have annual influenza vaccinations and avoid symptomatic contacts. The object of this study was to measure and increase patient/household awareness of RV infection and preventive measures. We used a self-administered questionnaire before/after a 5-min educational module (2006-2007) and interviews with HSCT patients (2005-2007). The subjects were patients and their households attending pre-HSCT education in an Australian HSCT Unit. Outcome measures were awareness of RV infection post-HSCT and effective prevention strategies; household influenza vaccination on admission for HSCT. In all, 139 out of 205 (68%) participants completed both questionnaires. Baseline knowledge of RV infection risk was high; knowledge of prevention was low. Intervention increased awareness that influenza post-HSCT could be fatal or require intensive care (68-87%, P=0.003), knowledge of effective prevention strategies (41-78%, P<0.0001) including vaccination (11-58%, P<0.0001), and belief among family/friends (but not patients) that household vaccination reduces influenza risk post-HSCT (57-97%, P<0.0001 and 76-81%, P=0.2, respectively). Household vaccination at HSCT admission was 71% for attenders and 30% for non-participants (RR 2.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.49-3.80, P<0.0001). We concluded that patient and family pre-HSCT education increases awareness of RV prevention strategies and household influenza vaccination.

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