Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention: A Pilot Study of Influenza Vaccine Acceptability Among Residents of Senior Housing
Influenza disproportionately affects African-American, Latino and other minority and low-income older adults. Complications related to influenza may cause older adults’ health to deteriorate significantly. In densely populated residential communities, an increase in flu vaccination rates can greatly improve both individual and community health. To raise the rates, it is first necessary to correct misconceptions about the vaccine, and to identify reasons the older adults are averse to it. A peer-led intervention can offer education, health promotion, community advocacy, and direct access to care. V.I.P.: Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention was designed to increase influenza vaccination rates and promote a proactive and sustainable approach to health maintenance among low-income, primarily minority older adults living independently in a senior housing building in Hartford, CT.
This pilot study was based on six years of community-based collaborative research with older adults. A study of HIV exposure in Hartford and Chicago, AIDS Risk in Older Urban Adult Senior Housing Residents, showed that older adults living in senior housing are concerned for their health. A study of depression, Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Older Hartford Residents, showed what barriers keep senior housing residents from accessing healthcare. These projects helped forge ICR’s relationship with building staff and residents. The VIP pilot provided formative research for an expanded one-year study, VIP II, funded by the Centers for Disease Control.
Jean J. Schensul, Ph.D.
Founder and Senior Scientist
Kim Radda, R.N., ABD
Ken Williamson, Ph.D.
William B. Disch, Ph.D.
Senior Research Analyst
Michelle Garner, B.A.
Evelyn Baez, B.A.
Helena de Moura-Castro, B.A.
University of Connecticut Health Center, Center for Immunotherapy of Cancer and Infectious Diseases
Janet McElhaney, M.D.
Daniel Chaput, M.M.
Hartford Housing Authority
VNA Health Care Inc. of Greater Hartford
Laurie St. John, R.N., M.S.N.
North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA)
Carmen Y. Reyes, M.S.M.
Please read the project abstract here.
Please read the project findings here.