Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of individuals attending influenza immunization clinics sponsored by the regional municipality of York / by Lara McLees.
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The knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about influenza and the influenza vaccine of individuals in the community are not well known. The purpose of this study was to conduct a review of current literature related to influenza and the influenza vaccine and then design and conduct a survey to examine the community’s knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. Demographic information and reasons for vaccine acceptance also were explored. Descriptive explorative research was conducted utilizing a self-administered survey on individuals aged 18 and over attending community clinics sponsored by the Regional Municipality of York Health Services Department. A total of 1,101 surveys were completed. Results showed 56.8% of participants were female, 75% of participants have physicians that recommend the flu shot, and 94.5% of participants had more than one flu shot in his/her lifetime. Females had significantly higher knowledge scores about influenza and the influenza vaccine than males. Individuals with family physicians who recommended the flu shot had significantly higher knowledge scores than individuals with physicians who did not. Knowledge scores were significantly related to levels of education, employment, income, having an underlying disease or condition and having a family physician who recommended the flu shot. Recommendations include increasing educational material available to the public and conducting further research. Of particular importance is dispelling the myth that the influenza vaccine causes influenza.