The goal of Work Package 4 is to develop strategies to educate and train health care professionals (HCPs) and to promote awareness among stakeholders involved in elderly care management.
An understanding of vaccination is crucial to its acceptance by the ageing population. We are therefore working to gain insight into what influences older adults in deciding whether or not they accept vaccination. As communication revolves around both the content of the message and the format in which is it is delivered, we want to understand the needs and personal beliefs of older adults. We also aim to get a better appreciation of what institutions and older adults look to for information and in what form that is best presented. It is already known that the general practitioner plays an important role as advisor for the elderly when it concerns vaccination in several countries across Europe. Nevertheless, with changing healthcare systems, other professional disciplines might also become important.
We are currently studying these questions in four European countries (Italy, France, The Netherlands and Hungary). We are specifically addressing influenza, pneumococcal, herpes zoster vaccination and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, as well as generic characteristics of the vaccines and diseases.
In parallel we are working to identify medical and patient organizations with whom we might best work in developing communication and HCP training materials. A sub-team is separately assessing evidence on best communication methods and practices.