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Cross-sectional survey: Risk-averse French general practitioners are more favorable toward influenza vaccination

Abstract : Objectives We tested the following hypotheses: (i) risk-averse general practitioners (GPs) are more likely to be vaccinated against influenza; (ii) and risk-averse GPs recommend influenza vaccination more often to their patients. In risk-averse GPs, the perceived benefits of the vaccine and/or the perceived risks of the infectious disease might indeed outweigh the perceived risks of the vaccine. Patients/Methods In 2010–2012, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of a nationwide French representative sample of 1136 GPs. Multivariate analyses adjusted for four stratification variables (age, gender, urban/suburban/rural practice location and annual patient consultations) and for GPs’ characteristics (group/solo practice, and occasional practice of alternative medicine, e.g., homeopathy) looked for associations between their risk attitudes and self-reported vaccination behavior. Individual risk attitudes were expressed as a continuous variable, from 0 (risk-tolerant) to 10 (risk-averse). Results Overall, 69% of GPs reported that they were very favorable toward vaccination in general. Self-reported vaccination coverage was 78% for 2009/2010 seasonal influenza and 62% for A/H1N1 pandemic influenza. Most GPs (72%) reported recommending the pandemic influenza vaccination to at-risk young adults in 2009, but few than half (42%) to young adults not at risk. In multivariate analyses, risk-averse GPs were more often vaccinated against seasonal (marginal effect = 1.3%, P = 0.02) and pandemic influenza (marginal effect = 1.5%, P = 0.02). Risk-averse GPs recommended the pandemic influenza vaccination more often than their more risk-tolerant colleagues to patients without risk factors (marginal effect = 1.7%, P = 0.01), but not to their at-risk patients and were more favorable toward vaccination in general (marginal effect = 1.5%, P = 0.04). Conclusion Individual risk attitudes may influence GPs’ practices regarding influenza vaccination, both for themselves and their patients. Our results suggest that risk-averse GPs may perceive the risks of influenza to outweigh the potential risks related to the vaccine.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 4:56:10 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 4:12:03 PM



Sophie Massin, Bruno Ventelou, Antoine Nebout-Javal, Pierre Verger, Céline Pulcini. Cross-sectional survey: Risk-averse French general practitioners are more favorable toward influenza vaccination. Vaccine, Elsevier, 2015, 33 (5), pp.610-614. ⟨10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.12.038⟩. ⟨hal-01241634⟩



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