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.
- Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs
- Older adults
- Pneumococcal immunization