Knowledge of and attitudes to influenza in unvaccinated primary care physicians and nurses: A cross-sectional study

CIBERESP Working Group for the Survey on Influenza Vaccination in Primary Health Care Workers

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16 Scopus citations


Primary healthcare workers, especially nurses, are exposed to the vast majority of patients with influenza and play an important role in vaccinating patients. Healthcare workers' misconceptions about influenza and influenza vaccination have been reported as possible factors associated with lack of vaccination. The objective of this study was to compare the characteristics of unvaccinated physicians and unvaccinated nurses in the 2011-2012 influenza season. We performed an anonymous web survey of Spanish primary healthcare workers in 2012. Information was collected on vaccination and knowledge of and attitudes to the influenza vaccine. Multivariate analysis was performed using unconditional logistic regression. We included 461 unvaccinated physicians and 402 unvaccinated nurses. Compared with unvaccinated nurses, unvaccinated physicians had more frequently received seasonal influenza vaccination in the preceding seasons (aOR 1.58; 95% CI 1.11-2.25), and more frequently believed that vaccination of high risk individuals is effective in reducing complications (aOR 2.53; 95% CI 1.30-4.95) and that influenza can be a serious illness (aOR 1.65; 95% CI 1.17-2.32). In contrast, unvaccinated physicians were less concerned about infecting patients (aOR 0.62; 95% CI 0.40-0.96). Unvaccinated nurses had more misconceptions than physicians about influenza and the influenza vaccine and more doubts about the severity of annual influenza epidemics in patients with high risk conditions and the prevention of complications by means of the influenza vaccination. For unvaccinated physicians, strategies to improve vaccination coverage should stress the importance of physicians as a possible source of infection of their patients. The effectiveness of influenza vaccination of high risk persons should be emphasized in nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2378-2386
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Knowledge
  • Nurses
  • Physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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