Background: Persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) are at high risk for respiratory complications from influenza. During pandemic situations, where resources may be scarce, uncertainties may arise in veterans with SCI/D. Objective: To describe concerns, knowledge, and perceptions of information received during the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic and to examine variables associated with H1N1 vaccine receipt. Methods: In August 2010, a cross-sectional survey was mailed to a national sample of veterans with traumatic and nontraumatic SCI/D. Results: During the pandemic, 58% of veterans with SCI/D received the H1N1 vaccine. Less than two-thirds of non-H1N1 vaccine recipients indicated intentions to get the next season's influenza vaccine. Being ≥50 years of age and depressed were significantly associated with higher odds of H1N1 vaccination. Being worried about vaccine side effects was associated with lower odds of H1N1 receipt. Compared to individuals who reported receiving an adequate amount of information about the pandemic, those who received too little information had significantly lower odds of receiving the H1N1 vaccine. Those who received accurate/clear information (vs confusing/conflicting) had 2 times greater odds of H1N1 vaccine receipt. Conclusions: H1N1 influenza vaccination was low in veterans with SCI/D. Of H1N1 vaccine nonrecipients, only 63% intend to get a seasonal vaccine next season. Providing an adequate amount of accurate and clear information is vital during uncertain times, as was demonstrated by the positive associations with H1N1 vaccination. Information-sharing efforts are needed, so that carry-over effects from the pandemic do not avert future healthy infection prevention behaviors.
- H1N1 virus
- infection control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology