Attitude toward immunization and risk perception of measles, rubella, mumps, varicella, and pertussis in health care workers working in 6 hospitals of Florence, Italy 2011.

Health care workers (HCWs) are at risk of infection and transmission of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. In recent years cases of measles or varicella in health care workers were observed with increasing frequency. The aim of our study was to investigate attitude toward immunization and risk perception of measles, rubella, mumps, varicella, and pertussis in HCWs working in 6 hospitals of Florence (Italy).: Methods: A cross-sectional survey among the physicians, nurses, midwives, and nursing assistants working in selected departments was performed trough a self-administered, anonymous questionnaire. Overall, 600 questionnaires were sent and 436 HCWs’ completed forms were included into the study (Participation rate: 72.7%). Data were analyzed with STATA 11.0® and odds ratio (OR) were calculated in a multivariate analysis.: Results: Among all respondents 74.9% were females. The average age was nearly 43-years-old (42.9 – SD 8.95). The majority of participants (58.6%) were nurses, 21.3% physicians, 12.9% nursing assistants, and 7.2% were midwives. Among those HCWs reporting no history of disease, 52.8% (95% CI: 42.0-63.3%) declared to have been immunized for measles, 46.9% for rubella (95% CI: 39.0-54.9%), 21.6% for mumps (95% CI: 15.1-29.4%), 14.9% for varicella (95% CI: 7.4-25.7%), and 14.5% for pertussis (95% CI: 10.0-20.0%). When considering potentially susceptible HCWs (without history of disease or vaccination and without serological confirmation), less than a half of them feel at risk for the concerned diseases and only less than 30% would undergo immunization. One of the main reasons of the relatively low coverage was indeed lack of active offer of vaccines.: Conclusion: Attitudes toward immunization observed in this study are generally positive for preventing some infectious diseases (i.e., measles and rubella), but relatively poor for others (i.e., varicella). More information should be made available to HCWs on the benefits of vaccination and efforts to encourage vaccination uptake should be performed. Educational program on the risk of being infected working in a hospital should be implemented in order to increase the risk perception toward infectious diseases among HCWs

Authors:Taddei C1, Ceccherini V1, Niccolai G1, Porchia BR1, Boccalini S1, Levi M1, Tiscione E1, Santini MG2, Baretti S2, Bonanni P1, Bechini A1.

Journal:Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2014