Just 1 Counseling Session Significantly Increased Vaccination Rates

Influenza and pneumococcus vaccination rates increased after patients received counseling
doctor taking blood pressure, counseling patient

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially those receiving immunosuppressive therapy, and patients with gastrointestinal cancer (GC) are often immunocompromised and at high risk for infections. 

A new study demonstrates that a single consultation from a specialized healthcare provider significantly improves vaccination rates. 

Although influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations for high‐risk populations are recommended by current guidelines, vaccination coverage is low in patients with GC or IBD. 

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Between December 2016 and April 2017, all patients with GC or IBD followed in the outpatient clinic of the Gastroenterology department at the Nancy University Hospital enrolled in a 3‐phase vaccination program. 

Of the 366 patients in the study, the baseline vaccination rate was 34.7 percent for influenza and 14.5 percent for pneumococcus. 

After delivering 1 counseling session to these IBD and GC patients, the vaccination rate significantly improved. 

Among vaccinated patients, 97.8 percent received the pneumococcal vaccine, 40.4 percent received a tetanus‐diphtheria‐polio vaccine, and 7.9 percent received an influenza vaccine. 

In GC patients, anti‐pneumococcal vaccination rate was 87.5 percent after the specialized consultation compared with 10.1 percent before. 

In IBD patients, corresponding rates were 85.7 percent and 16.1 percent. 

In conclusion, these researchers said ‘To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first program to assess the impact of a specialized infectious disease consultation on the vaccination rate in immunosuppressed patients with IBD or GC.’ 

Additionally, these researchers said ‘This simple counseling method could be applied globally to improve vaccination coverage in such patients.’ 

Overall, the prevalence of illness attributable to vaccine-preventable diseases is greatest among adults, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   

Adults are recommended to receive vaccinations based on their age, underlying medical conditions, lifestyle, prior vaccinations, and other considerations. 

No financial conflicts of interest were disclosed by these researchers. The handling editor for this article was Professor Jonathan Rhodes.