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Influenza vaccination prevalence and demographic factors of patients and GPs in primary care in Austria and Croatia: a cross-sectional comparative study in the framework of the APRES project.

Hoffmann, K., Paget, J., Wojczewski, S., Katic, M., Maier, M., Soldo, D. Influenza vaccination prevalence and demographic factors of patients and GPs in primary care in Austria and Croatia: a cross-sectional comparative study in the framework of the APRES project. European Journal of Public Health: 2016, 26(3), 395-401
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Aim
The aim of this study was to compare influenza vaccination coverage rates in Austria and Croatia, countries with missing data in the Eurosurveillance and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports. In addition, we assessed demographic factors of GPs and patients and calculated associations regarding vaccination rates.

Methods
This cross-sectional study was conducted within the context of the appropriateness of prescribing antibiotics in primary health care in Europe with respect to antibiotic resistance (APRES) project. Between November 2010 and July 2011, 40 GP practices attempted to recruit 200 patients to complete questionnaires about their influenza vaccination status and demographics. Statistical analyses included subgroup analyses
and logistic regression models.

Results
Data from 7269 patient questionnaires could be analyzed (3309 Austria and 3960 Croatia). The vaccination coverage rates were low (2009/2010: A 18.2 vs. C 20.9%, P < 0.001; 2010/2011: A 13.7 vs. C 18.6%; P < 0.001). The rates were found to be highest in persons aged 65 years and older (2009/2010: A 35.1 vs. C 49.5%, P < 0.001; 2010/2011: A 31.1 vs. C 45.7%, P < 0.001) and lowest in children (2009/2010: A 8.5 vs. C 2.0%, P < 0.001; 2010/2011: A 4.3 vs. C 1.6%, P = 0.002). Besides, demographics in the adjusted regression model for Austria being vaccinated was associated with consulting a female GP (OR, 4.20; P < 0.001) and in Croatia with five or more GP consultations per year (OR, 4.41; P < 0.001).

Conclusion
The vaccination coverage rates for Austria and Croatia were low, with the highest rates found in persons aged 65 years and older, showing that public coverage of the vaccination costs might increase vaccination rates. However, other factors seem to be relevant, including the engagement of GPs.