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עמוד בית
Thu, 13.06.24

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June 2011
Z.H. Abramson, O. Avni, O. Levi and I.N. Miskin

Background: Influenza vaccination of community-dwelling elderly is widely recommended. Observational studies have shown a strong association between physicians' personal vaccination status and their reported level of recommendation to patients and possibly their patients' actual vaccination. No published trials have examined whether increasing vaccination rates of primary care staff raises vaccination among their patients. Proof of a positive effect would support the notion that vaccinating health care workers benefits their patients.

Objectives: To examine whether an intervention to increase staff vaccination also increases vaccination of their patients aged 65 and over.

Methods: A trial examining an intervention aiming to raise staff immunization rates was performed in primary care community clinics in the Jerusalem area. The study population comprised the staff of 13 randomly chosen intervention clinics during the season of 2007–2008, with another 14 clinics serving as controls. The intervention resulted in a staff vaccination rate of 52.8% compared to 26.5% in the control clinics (66.1% and 32.2% among physicians). No intervention was directed at the patients. Data on patient vaccination and other patient characteristics were extracted from the health funds’ computerized databases.

Results: The percentage of patients vaccinated during the intervention season was 57.8% in both intervention and control groups, reflecting an increase of 14.4% compared to the previous season in the intervention clinics and of 13.4% in the control clinics. Logistic regression demonstrated a statistically significant association between intervention and patient vaccination with an odds ratio of 1.10 (95% confidence interval 1.03–1.18). However, analysis adjusting for clustering did not show a significant association.

Conclusions: Increasing influenza vaccination of the medical staff did not substantially increase patient vaccination. These results do not show any patient benefit from staff vaccination in primary care.
 

December 2000
Zvi H. Abramson, MD, MPH and Vered Cohen-Naor, MD
 Background: Influenza is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. While immunization has been shown to reduce these complications, many of the elderly are not immunized.

Objective: To identify correlates for under-utilization of influenza immunization among the elderly.

Methods: A telephone survey was conducted among a random sample of patients aged 65 and over registered at a Jerusalem primary care community clinic. The 626 questionnaires were analyzed for associations of immunization receipt for the latest influenza season. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify independent correlates. Respondents were also asked what factors had influenced their decision about immunization.

Results: The most frequently reported influence on getting immunized was a physician's recommendation. Immunization was independently associated with the identity of the primary care physician (P0.0001) and with having visited the physician during the previous 3 months (P=0.0006). Immunization was more likely among persons who believed that it provides complete protection from influenza (P0.0001) and less likely among those who believed immunization can cause influenza (P0.0001). Higher immunization rates were also associated with being married (P=0.0031).

Conclusion: Through their influence on patient knowledge and the effect of their recommendation, primary care physicians play a pivotal role in determining immunization rates. Physicians should routinely discuss the effects of immunization and recommend it to the elderly.

May 2000
Liubov (Louba) Ben-Noun MD, Aya Biderman MD and Pesach Shvartzman MD

Background: Smoking rates have decreased in western countries as well as in Israel during the past 20 years.

Objectives: To estimate current rates of smoking and smoking cessation, and to assess factors associated with smoking and smoking cessation in family practice.

Methods: Prospective face-to-face interviews were conducted with 1,094 subjects, aged 16 years or older, registered in a family practice.

Results: Of all subjects studied, 746 (68.2%) were non-smokers, 237 (21.7%) were current smokers, and 111 (10.1%) had stopped smoking. Overall, 31.8% of the males and 13.8% of the females were current smokers, and 20.1% males and 2.4% females had stopped smoking. Current smoking and smoking cessation rates were significantly and inversely associated with age among males and females. Smoking rates were higher among males and females who were married, had 10-12 years of education, and among males of North African origin and females of Israeli origin. The number of cigarettes smoked per day was associated with smoking and smoking cessation in males, but not in females. The highest rate of quitting occurred among males who smoked 25 cigarettes per day. In a multiple regression analysis, gender and the number of cigarettes smoked per day were the most significant factors that predicted smoking cessation. The most common reason for stopping was the appearance of new signs of illness or the development of a new chronic disease, followed by a physician's recommendation to quit smoking.

Conclusions: Female smokers and male smokers who smoke less than 25 cigarettes per day are the least likely to quit smoking. Future programs should be designed for and targeted at these groups of patients.

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