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Are healthcare workers’ intentions to vaccinate related to their knowledge, beliefs and attitudes? a systematic review

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      The Summit of Independent European Vaccination Experts (SIEVE) recommended in 2007 that efforts be made to improve healthcare workers’ knowledge and beliefs about vaccines, and their attitudes towards them, to increase vaccination coverage. The aim of the study was to compile and analyze the areas of disagreement in the existing evidence about the relationship between healthcare workers’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about vaccines and their intentions to vaccinate the populations they serve.


      We conducted a systematic search in four electronic databases for studies published in any of seven different languages between February 1998 and June 2009. We included studies conducted in developed countries that used statistical methods to relate or associate the variables included in our research question. Two independent reviewers verified that the studies met the inclusion criteria, assessed the quality of the studies and extracted their relevant characteristics. The data were descriptively analyzed.


      Of the 2354 references identified in the initial search, 15 studies met the inclusion criteria. The diversity in the study designs and in the methods used to measure the variables made it impossible to integrate the results, and each study had to be assessed individually. All the studies found an association in the direction postulated by the SIEVE experts: among healthcare workers, higher awareness, beliefs that are more aligned with scientific evidence and more favorable attitudes toward vaccination were associated with greater intentions to vaccinate. All the studies included were cross-sectional; thus, no causal relationship between the variables was established.


      The results suggest that interventions aimed at improving healthcare workers’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about vaccines should be encouraged, and their impact on vaccination coverage should be assessed.

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          Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children.

          We investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder. 12 children (mean age 6 years [range 3-10], 11 boys) were referred to a paediatric gastroenterology unit with a history of normal development followed by loss of acquired skills, including language, together with diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Children underwent gastroenterological, neurological, and developmental assessment and review of developmental records. Ileocolonoscopy and biopsy sampling, magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and lumbar puncture were done under sedation. Barium follow-through radiography was done where possible. Biochemical, haematological, and immunological profiles were examined. Onset of behavioural symptoms was associated, by the parents, with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in eight of the 12 children, with measles infection in one child, and otitis media in another. All 12 children had intestinal abnormalities, ranging from lymphoid nodular hyperplasia to aphthoid ulceration. Histology showed patchy chronic inflammation in the colon in 11 children and reactive ileal lymphoid hyperplasia in seven, but no granulomas. Behavioural disorders included autism (nine), disintegrative psychosis (one), and possible postviral or vaccinal encephalitis (two). There were no focal neurological abnormalities and MRI and EEG tests were normal. Abnormal laboratory results were significantly raised urinary methylmalonic acid compared with age-matched controls (p=0.003), low haemoglobin in four children, and a low serum IgA in four children. We identified associated gastrointestinal disease and developmental regression in a group of previously normal children, which was generally associated in time with possible environmental triggers.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Primary Healthcare Service, Madrid Health Service, Santa Hortensia 14, Madrid, Spain
            [2 ]Spanish Association of Vaccinology, Madrid, Spain
            [3 ]Department of Preventive Medicine, Public Health, Medical Immunology and Microbiology, Rey Juan Carlos University, Avenida de Atenas s/n, Alcorcón, Spain
            [4 ]Virtual Library, Lain Entralgo Agency, Gran Vía 27, Madrid, Spain
            BMC Public Health
            BMC Public Health
            BMC Public Health
            BioMed Central
            19 February 2013
            : 13
            : 154
            Copyright ©2013 Herzog et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Research Article

            Public health

            immunization, vaccination, knowledge, belief, attitude, healthcare worker, coverage, intentions


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