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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Supplement 1, pp S41–S45 | Cite as

Vaccination of Health Care Workers for Influenza: Promote Safety Culture, Not Coercion

  • Annalee YassiEmail author
  • Karen Lockhart
  • Jane A. Buxton
  • Isobel McDonald
Commentary

Abstract

Objectives

In British Columbia (BC), Canada, all health care facilities must have a written staff policy on influenza immunization that includes notice that non-immunized staff can be excluded from work without pay during an influenza outbreak in the facility. In light of this policy, our objectives were to explore the views of BC health care workers (HCWs) regarding how best to promote vaccine uptake.

Methods

Long-term care, and acute and community health sites in three of six health regions were divided into thirds, according to their previous season’s vaccine uptake rates, and the upper and lower thirds targeted. Ten focus groups were held. NVivo software (QSR International) and a separate editing style were used for analysis.

Results

Four dominant themes emerged: knowledge, communication, perceived punitive nature of workplace policy, and safety climate. HCWs across all focus groups noted that influenza campaign communications should include reinforcement of basic infection control, workplace health and healthy lifestyle choices that affect overall health. HCWs indicated that they wanted a workplace policy that is easy to understand, respectful of individual choice and not punitive.

Conclusions

Our findings highlight the importance of comprehensive approaches, a message that has not appeared as strongly in previous literature. Focus group participants pointed out the importance of health and safety at work generally and felt that creating a healthy workplace culture is necessary to promoting vaccine uptake. Future vaccine promotion initiatives should be integrated into facility-wide workplace health campaigns and care taken to ensure that vaccination campaigns do not appear coercive to HCWs.

Key words

Influenza vaccination health care workers health and safety culture 

Résumé

Objectifs

En Colombie-Britannique (C.-B.), au Canada, tous les établissements de soins de santé doivent avoir une politique écrite sur la vaccination antigrippale du personnel. Cette politique prévoit que le personnel non vacciné peut être exclu du travail sans salaire durant une éclosion d’influenza dans l’établissement. À la lumière de cette politique, nous avons voulu connaître le point de vue des travailleurs de la santé (TS) de la C.-B. sur le meilleur moyen de promouvoir l’acceptation du vaccin.

Méthode

Les établissements de soins prolongés, de soins actifs et de santé communautaire de trois des six régions sanitaires de la province ont été divisés en tiers selon leurs taux d’acceptation du vaccin pendant la saison vaccinale précédente et les tiers supérieur et inférieur ont été ciblés. Dix rencontres ont été tenues en groupes de discussion. Les résultats ont été analysés à l’aide du logiciel NVivo (QSR International) et de directives d’édition distinctes.

Résultats

Quatre grands thèmes se sont dégagés: les connaissances, la communication, le caractère punitif perçu de la politique de l’établissement et le climat de SST. Dans tous les groupes de discussion, les TS ont indiqué que les communications sur la campagne antigrippale devraient porter sur le renforcement des mesures de base de prévention des infections, sur la santé au travail et sur les choix de modes de vie qui influencent la santé générale. Les TS ont dit vouloir que la politique de l’établissement soit facile à comprendre, qu’elle respecte les choix personnels et qu’elle ne soit pas punitive.

Conclusion

Nos constatations soulignent l’importance d’une approche globale, ce qui ne ressortait pas aussi clairement dans les travaux publiés auparavant. Les participants des groupes de discussion ont souligné l’importance de la santé et de la sécurité au travail en général; selon eux, pour promouvoir l’acceptation du vaccin, il faut que la santé au travail fasse partie de la culture organisationnelle. Les futures initiatives de promotion du vaccin devraient donc s’inscrire dans des campagnes de santé au travail à l’échelle de l’établissement, et des efforts déployés pour éviter que les campagnes de vaccination semblent coercitives pour les TS.

Mots clés

vaccination antigrippale travailleurs de la santé culture de la santé et de la sécurité 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annalee Yassi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karen Lockhart
    • 2
  • Jane A. Buxton
    • 1
  • Isobel McDonald
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Population and Public HealthUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.College of Interdisciplinary StudiesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Pacific PracticesVancouverCanada

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