Introduction. Healthcare workers are continuously exposed to the risk of being infected by influenza viruses during their work, thus representing a threat especially for fragile patients. Although the Italian Ministry of Health strongly recommends influenza vaccination for all HCWs, coverage levels in Italy are still far from the expected. Several studies report that one of the preferred strategies to improve vaccination coverage among Healthcare Workers is improving vaccination knowledge through specific multidisciplinary courses. To assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention on influenza vaccination coverage among Healthcare Workers a study was conducted at "Paolo Giaccone" University Hospital of Palermo, in the occasion of the 2016/2017 seasonal influenza vaccination campaign. Material and methods. Educational interventions on influenza infection and vaccination were organized involving personnel of the hospital units in which patients were more fragile. The Healthcare Workers who volunteered attend the course were considered as the intervention group, while two controls for each case, composed by Healthcare Workers not attending it, were randomly selected from the same unit. For both groups, a questionnaire was used to investigate attitude and behaviors toward influenza vaccination, while vaccination coverage data were obtained throughout the Hospital informational data system. Results. Overall, out of the 125 participants, 38 (30.4%) followed the course (intervention group) and 87 (69.6%), not attending the course, represented the control group; later, only 43 Healthcare Workers out of 125 (34.4%) underwent vaccination during the season considered. In particular, after the educational intervention, 42% of the attending Healthcare Workers got vaccinated, while vaccination prevalence in the control group was 31%. The Healthcare Workers who underwent vaccination reported, before the intervention, a higher risk perception for contracting (transmitting) influenza compared to those not vaccinated (p < 0.05), while no significant difference in risk perception of transmitting influenza to their patients was reported between the two groups. Discussion. Despite the training provided, and an improvement in vaccination adherence by the Healthcare Workers involved, coverage obtained was lower than recommended to reduce influenza spread in hospital contexts. In conclusion, our data suggest that specific training alone may play a role in the improvement of influenza vaccination adherence, but it should be integrated by a wider range of public health measures, including mandatory vaccination.
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases