Background. As part of a 3-year demonstration project to improve pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) coverage among older adults, the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a baseline evaluation of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among the general public regarding PPV. Methods. A random-digit dialing telephone survey was conducted among community-dwelling adults age 65 years or older in three metropolitan counties in Minnesota during April through June 1998. Results. Three hundred fifty-three interviews were completed; self-reported PPV coverage was 59% (95% CI 54%, 64%). Nearly all (94%) respondents reported at least one medical visit in the past year. Unvaccinated respondents expressed willingness to be vaccinated if they knew about PPV's safety, dosage, and preventive role. In a final multivariate regression model, factors associated with PPV vaccination included awareness of PPV (OR 7.8; CI 2.1, 29.2; P = 0.002), opinion that receiving PPV is "very important" (OR 8.3; CI 3.2, 21.6; P < 0.001), awareness that Medicare covers PPV (OR 5.1; CI 1.9, 13.8; P = 0.001), physician ever offering PPV (OR 21.7; CI 6.2, 76.6; P < 0.001), and physician regularly offering PPV (OR 3.9; CI 1.1, 13.7; P = 0.03). Conclusions. Respondents were significantly influenced by their physician offering PPV. Therefore, providers' practices are a critical target for improving PPV coverage. Educational efforts to inform patients about PPV and to address misconceptions (e.g., safety, efficacy, Medicare coverage) also may improve vaccination levels.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
1 This publication was partially supported by the Preventive Health and Human Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) and partially supported by the CDC National Center for Infectious Disease Emerging Infections Program. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.
- Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs
- Older adults
- Pneumococcal immunization