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  • 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
  • Project No: 363
  • Funding round: FR 13

Optimising vaccine effectiveness in primary care

Older people do not always benefit from vaccination. Some studies suggest less than 20% are protected after receiving a flu vaccination. We have investigated which factors, other than age, influence if a vaccine works. We have found that older people with greater positive mood on the day of flu vaccination produce more flu antibodies, which reliably predict protection from flu. These findings suggest an intervention that improved positive mood at the time of vaccination could make the vaccine more effective in more people.

We have reviewed previous research to identify brief interventions that improve positive mood and immunity. The findings suggest a number of different approaches could be taken. We seek now to:
1) Understand which approaches to promoting positive mood are most acceptable to patients and primary care health care professionals (HCPs)

This will involve focus groups with patients and interviews with HCPs to examine the acceptability of existing interventions and, where appropriate, suggest alternative approaches to improving mood.

2) Develop an intervention to promote positive mood
The findings from the focus groups and interviews will lead to the development of an intervention to improve positive mood.

3) Conduct a feasibility trial of the intervention

We will compare the intervention against usual care in older adults receiving the flu vaccine. We will examine participation, drop-out, and engagement rates; determine intervention effects on positive mood and immunity; and explore the feasibility of collecting information on flu-like symptoms through self-report and medical records. Together these data will inform the design of a future trial.

4) Conduct interviews with patients and HCPs to explore experiences of receiving/implementing the intervention.

Interviews will examine the acceptability of the intervention. Patient interviews will focus on what worked and what did not. HCP interviews will focus on factors influencing the implementation of the intervention.

Amount awarded: £72,711

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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