Cluster randomised controlled trial of an educational outreach visit to improve influenza and pneumococcal immunisation rates in primary care.
- PubMed: 12236277
BACKGROUND: Improvement in the delivery of influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations to high-risk groups is an important aspect of preventive care for primary healthcare teams. AIM: To investigate the effect of an educational outreach visit to primary healthcare teams on influenza and pneumococcal vaccination uptake in high-risk patients. DESIGN: Cluster randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Thirty general practices in the Trent region, UK. METHODS: Fifteen practices were randomised to intervention and 15 to the control group after stratifying for baseline vaccination rate. All intervention practices were offered and received an educational outreach visit to primary healthcare teams, in addition to audit and feedback directed at improving influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates in high-risk groups. Control practices received audit and feedback alone. All practices measured influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates in high-risk groups. Primary outcomes were improvements in vaccination rates in patients aged 65 years and over, and patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes and a history of splenectomy. RESULTS: Improvements in pneumococcal vaccination rates in the intervention practices were significantly greater compared with controls in patients with CHD, 14.8% versus 6.5% (odds ratio OR = 1.23, 95% confidence interval CI = 1.13 to 1.34) and diabetes, 15.5% versus 6.8% (OR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.08 to 1.29) but not splenectomy, 6.5% versus 4.7% (OR = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.65 to 1.42). Improvements for influenza vaccination were also usually greater in intervention practices but did not reach statistical significance. The increases for influenza vaccination in intervention versus control practices were for CHD, 18.1% versus 13.1% (OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.12); diabetes, 15.5% versus 12.0% (OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.16), splenectomy 16.1% versus 2.9% (OR = 1.22, 95% CI = 0.78 to 1.93); and those over 65 years 20.7% versus 25.4% (OR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.96 to 1.02). CONCLUSION: Practices where primary care teams received an educational outreach visit demonstrated a significantly greater improvement in uptake in high-risk groups for pneumococcal but not influenza vaccine.