Risikowahrnehmung und Impfverhalten in der Influenzasaison 2010/2011
Background: Every influenza season, vaccination campaigns are launched with the aim to achieve higher vaccination rates. Despite diverse educational work, health behavior regarding influenza vaccination falls short of expectations. The current study explores the relationship between vaccination behavior and objective infection risk. The hypothesis is that vaccination is performed independently of the objective infection risk. Even with increasing infection risk, no increase of vaccination rate is expected. Methods: Questionnaires were filled in by passengers of public transportation services in a southern German city at three defined time points. Changes in vaccination behavior were recorded in parallel with the objectively measurable risk of disease. The questions to determine vaccination behavior and its causal impact factors are based on the Health Belief Model. The total sample consisted of 178 participants at each timepoint (n= 534). Results: Questionnaires were evaluated with regard to age and vaccination status. During the influenza season vaccinated and non-vaccinated participants show differences in risk perception. In vaccinated persons, the "perceived risk of disease" increases, while non-vaccinated participants develop a declining risk perception at the peak of influenza season. Conclusion: Vaccination is performed in all groups regardless of the objective risk. The decline in risk perception in non-vaccinated participants might be explained by a defensive mechanism of information processing. Consequently, a strategy of intensified education regarding the risk of disease seems not promising in future vaccination projects. Furthermore, it may be more effective to improve the status and importance of vaccination.
Subject HeadingsGesundheitsverhalten [GND]
Health behavior [MeSH]
Influenza, human [MeSH]