Determinants of Tetanus, Pneumococcal and Influenza Vaccination in the Elderly

A Representative Cross-Sectional Study on Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP)

Carolina J. Klett-Tammen; Gérard Krause; Linda Seefeld; Jördis J. Ott


BMC Public Health. 2016;16(121) 

In This Article


Background: Severity and incidence of vaccine-preventable infections with influenza viruses, s. pneumoniae and c. tetani increase with age. Furthermore, vaccine coverage in the elderly is often insufficient. The aim of this study is to identify socio-economic and knowledge-, attitude- and practice- (KAP)-related determinants of vaccination against influenza, pneumococcal disease and tetanus in the older German population.

Methods: We analysed data from a German nationally representative questionnaire-based KAP-survey on infection prevention and hygiene behavior in the elderly (n = 1223). We used logistic regressions to assess impacts of socio-demographic- and KAP-related variables on vaccine uptake in general and on tetanus-, influenza- and pneumococcal vaccination. To generate KAP-scores, we applied factor analyses and analysed scores as predictors of specific vaccinations.

Results: A low rated personal health status was associated with a higher uptake of influenza vaccine whereas place of residence within Germany strongly impacted on pneumococcal vaccination. For tetanus and influenza vaccination, the strongest single vaccination predictor was attitude-related, i.e., the perceived importance of the vaccine (OR = 18.1, 95 % CI = 4.5–71.8; OR = 23.0, 95 % CI = 14.9–35.3, respectively). Pneumococcal vaccination was mostly knowledge-associated, i.e., knowing the recommendation predicted uptake (OR = 17.1, 95 % CI = 9.5–30.7). Regarding the generated KAP-scores, the practice-score reflecting vaccine related behavior such as having a vaccination record, was predictive for all vaccines considered. The knowledge-score was associated with influenza (OR = 1.3, 95 % CI = 1.0–1.6) and pneumococcal vaccination (OR = 1.2, 95 % CI = 1.0–1.5). Uniquely for influenza vaccination, the attitude-score was linked to vaccine uptake (OR = 1.1, 95 % CI = 1.0–1.1).

Conclusions: Our results indicate that predictors of vaccination uptake in the elderly strongly depend on vaccine type and that scores of KAP are useful and valid to condense information from numerous individual KAP-variables. While awareness for vaccinations against influenza and tetanus is fairly high already it might have to be increased for vaccinations against pneumocoocal infections.