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Vaccine. 2015 Feb 4;33(6):759-70. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.013. Epub 2014 Dec 31.

Interventions to increase influenza vaccination rates in children with high-risk conditions--a systematic review.

Author information

1
Public Health England, York, UK. Electronic address: nicholas.aigbogun@phe.gov.uk.
2
Public Health England, Birmingham, UK.
3
Public Health, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Influenza is a common cause of morbidity and mortality, especially among the elderly and those with certain chronic diseases. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for individuals in at-risk groups, but rates of vaccination are particularly low in children with high-risk conditions (HRCs).

OBJECTIVE:

To conduct a systematic review of studies that have examined interventions aimed at improving influenza vaccination in children with HRCs.

METHODS:

Two databases - PubMed and SCOPUS - were searched (with no time or language restrictions) using a combination of keywords - Influenza AND vaccination OR immunization OR children AND asthma OR malignancy OR high-risk AND reminder. Duplicates were removed, and abstracts of relevant articles were screened using specific inclusion/exclusion criteria. Thirteen articles were selected, and five additional studies were identified following a review of the reference lists of the initial thirteen articles, bringing the total number to eighteen.

RESULTS:

Most studies were conducted in the United States. Among the 18 studies, there was one systematic review of a specific intervention in asthmatic children, seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs), six before-and-after studies, one non-randomized controlled trial, one retrospective cohort study, one quasi-experimental post-test study, and one letter to editors. Interventions reported include multi-component strategies, letter reminders, telephone recall, letters plus telephone calls, an asthma education tool and year-round scheduling for influenza vaccination, amongst others.

CONCLUSION:

There is good evidence that reminder letters will improve influenza vaccination uptake in children with HRCs, but the evidence that telephone recall or a combination of letter reminder and telephone recall will improve uptake is weak. It is not known if multiple reminder letters are more effective than single letters or if multi-component strategies are more effective than single or dual component strategies. There is a need for further research of these interventions, possibly outside the United States.

KEYWORDS:

Asthma; Children; High-risk; Immunization; Influenza; Malignancy; Reminder; Vaccination

PMID:
25556592
DOI:
10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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