Developing strategies to increase the immunity of medical students at an Australian University

Fergus, Erin, Speare, Richard, and Heal, Clare (2016) Developing strategies to increase the immunity of medical students at an Australian University. Vaccine Reports, 6. pp. 56-61.

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Background: Immunity to many vaccine-preventable diseases is inadequate amongst medical student populations internationally.

Objectives: To identify the factors that influence vaccination behaviour of Australian medical students and to identify appropriate immunisation-promotion interventions for this population.

Methods: A qualitative study using grounded theory techniques was undertaken in August and September 2014. Eighteen medical students from James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, Australia participated in one of three focus group interviews. Data analysis incorporated the principles of the constant comparative method.

Results: Four themes emerged to explain the determinants of immunisation in this population: protection from infectious disease, understanding of the consequences of infectious disease, influence of individual and institutional recommendations, and practical barriers. Strategies to improve immunity were explored in three themes: empowering and educating students, improving access and mandating immunisation.

Conclusions: The determinants of medical student immunisation are complex and interconnected. A multi-faceted, long-term approach is needed to improve medical student immunity, and should include implementation of vaccination clinics and awareness initiatives, with future consideration of mandatory vaccination and integration into clinical skills programs and sessions. Immunisation policies and duty of care arrangements need clarification.

Item ID: 46534
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2405-7843
Keywords: medical students; healthcare students; immunisation; vaccination; occupational diseases; infection control
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2016 01:02
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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