We aimed to assess the factors influencing primary care physicians’ (PCPs) approach to adult vaccination in specific risk groups and evaluate the compliance to adult immunization guidelines.
This cross-sectional study performed between January 2016 and April 2016 in İstanbul, Turkey. A questionnaire designed to obtain physicians’ demographical data, experience, immunization status, and attitude on prescribing or recommending vaccines for adults in the risk group. Healthy individuals older than 65 and patients suffer from chronic diseases or had splenectomy before are considered as a risk group. The questionnaire was sent via email to a randomly selected group of 1,500 PCPs. The data of 221 physicians who responded emails were recorded for statistical analysis.
Of the 221 participants (123 women, 98 men), the majority were aged 31–40 years. Their vaccination rates were 74.2% for hepatitis B, 54.3% for seasonal influenza, and 47.1% for tetanus. Among participants, the highest recommendation and prescription rate of adult vaccines was recorded in PCPs aged 31–40 years. In addition, PCPs with <10 years occupational experience were found to prescribe adult vaccines more frequently than PCPs with longer occupational experience.
Primary care physicians with lower age and relatively less experience are more intent to prescribe adult vaccines to patients that are in risk groups. This result may be due to increased awareness of adult immunization among PCPs who had more recent medical training. However, many other factors could have caused this difference, including physicians’ approach to primary medical care.