Prevalence of influenza vaccination among physicians and related enhancing and preventing factors in Italy

Alice Mannocci, Paolo Ursillo, Claudio Bontempi, Antonella Sferrazza, Giuseppe La Torre



Introduction: Several studies proved the convenience of vaccinating health care workers (HCWs), especially physicians, and vaccination is recommended by health authorities in many Countries. Nonetheless in Italy only a small part of HCWs get vaccinated. The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review in order to estimate the pooled prevalence of influenza vaccinations among physicians in Italy and to investigate the enhancing/preventing factors associated with this kind of preventive tool.
Methods: Relevant articles up to 1st May 2010 have been identified through Scopus, PubMed and Google Scholar; data extraction and quality assessment were performed independently by two researchers.
The analysis was performed using StatsDirect 2.7.8.
Results: Sixteen studies, performed between 1990 and 2008, reported vaccination rates with pooled prevalence among all HCWs. From nine of them data regarding physicians have been extracted and analysed, finding a pooled proportion of 23.18% (95% CI = 17.85-28.98%). One study allowed an analysis of the reasons encouraging and preventing influenza vaccination. The main ones are on one side self protection, and patients’ and family’s protection, and on the other side “not caring about influenza,” followed by “fear of adverse effects” and “belief that vaccine isn’t effective.”
Discussion: Italy has a good overall influenza vaccination coverage, and national records are available for population aged over 65 years or with chronic illness. Unfortunately there isn’t any national record about HCWs or physicians vaccination, and from the data gathered from the studies examined in this analysis vaccination prevalence is low. The reasons brought from physicians are worrying because of their position in the society and in the health care system, in close contact with patients.
This shows a great need for well-done information and educational campaigns stressing the importance of prevention.


Influenza vaccination; Physicians; Italy

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