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Public Health. 2012 Sep;126 Suppl 1:S53-6. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2012.05.024. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Using a theoretical framework to determine adults' intention to vaccinate against pandemic swine flu in priority groups in the UK.

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  • 1School of Social Sciences, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK.



Vaccination is key in controlling influenza pandemics. Ways of identifying determinants that influence the decision to be vaccinated need to be understood in order to optimize vaccination rates. Therefore, this study aimed to predict intention to be vaccinated against swine flu in priority groups in the UK. An extension of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) provided the theoretical framework for the study.


The study population consisted of 134 adults from the UK who were in vaccination priority groups, either because they were healthcare professionals or in 'other' vaccination priority groups (e.g. due to having a chronic illness, being pregnant). Data were collected from 30 October 2009 (just after the swine flu vaccine became available in the UK) until 31 December 2009. The main outcome of interest was intention to be vaccinated against swine flu.


Overall, intention was not high. Healthcare professionals were less likely to intend to be vaccinated compared with other priority groups. The theoretical framework was a powerful predictor of intention, explaining 70% of the variance in intention. The most important parts of the model were the demographic variables and original TPB which explained 66% of the variance in intention, with other variables (extended TPB/Health Belief Model) accounting for an extra 4% of the variance in intention. This is in contrast to results from the general population.


The study results provide a useful framework on which to base future interventions for improving uptake of pandemic flu vaccination. These interventions need to be targeted at specific groups given the different results of the priority groups compared with the general population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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