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Influenza Vaccinations: Older Adults’ Decision-Making Process

  • Amanda McIntyre (a1), Aleksandra Zecevic (a2) and Laura Diachun (a3) (a4)

The purpose of this study was to explore the self-perceived influences among older adults in deciding whether to take or not take the seasonal influenza vaccine. Thirty-one receivers and six non-receivers (aged 67–91) participated in six focus groups in London, Ontario. The focus group meetings lasted approximately 60 minutes, were digitally audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Inductive content analysis was performed to analyse the transcripts. The major facilitators of taking the vaccine were recommendations by, and trust in, health professionals, and a belief in vaccine efficacy. The major barriers were a fear of adverse reactions and the belief in resilience of an older adult. The Canadian Public Health Agency and allied health professionals should educate older adults in accurate influenza symptoms, vaccine efficacy, and populations at risk for contracting influenza. Focus should be given on correcting misconceptions about adverse events.

Le but de cette étude était d’explorer les influences auto-évaluatives parmi les personnes plus âgées en décidant de prendre ou non le vaccin contre la grippe saisonnière. Trente-et-un receveurs et six non-receveurs (âgés de 67–91 ans) ont participé à six groupes de discussion à London, Ontario. Les réunions des groupes de discussion ont duré environ 60 minutes, ont été enregistrées sur bande audio-magnetique et transcrites mot à mot. Les principaux animateurs de la prise du vaccin étaient les recommandations et la confiance dans les professionnels de la santé, et la croyance en l’efficacité du vaccin. Les principaux obstacles étaient la peur des réactions indésirables et la croyance en la capacité de résistance des personnes âgées. L’Agence de la santé publique du Canada et les membres de professions paramédicales devraient sensibiliser les personnes âgées à un diagnostic précis des symptômes de la grippe, l’efficacité des vaccins et les populations qui sont à risque de contracter la grippe. L’accent devrait être mis sur la correction des idées fausses au sujet des effets indésirables.

Corresponding author
*Correspondence and requests for reprints should be sent to / La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à: Amanda McIntyre, MSc Aging, Rehabilitation, and Geriatric Care St. Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital 801 Commissioner’s Road East, Room 3019 London, ON N6C5J1 (
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Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement
  • ISSN: 0714-9808
  • EISSN: 1710-1107
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-on-aging-la-revue-canadienne-du-vieillissement
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