Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine has been shown to prevent flu outbreaks that can cause debilitating effects on the body and even death. Underserved members of Black communities are more likely to refuse the flu vaccine than are persons of other ethnicities. The purpose of the project was to determine from a needs assessment the reasons for flu vaccine refusal in the Black population of an inner city clinic in order to develop tailored communication and nursing actions that promote awareness of the flu vaccine's importance and safety. The health belief model constructs (perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers) were used to guide the project. A survey based on the constructs of the health belief model was administered to a convenience sample of 40 adult patients in an inner city clinic who completed the anonymous survey while they waited for the physician. Descriptive statistics showed that adults ages 18 to 36, who were the largest group of respondents (n = 33), agreed to be vaccinated and believed the flu to be a serious disease for their age group. Reported barriers to vaccination included finding time to get vaccinated and the belief that the vaccine causes the flu. The findings supported development of an annual seasonal flu vaccine campaign that included verbal and written education, informational posters, social media messages, and a standing order to offer and administer the injection to all adults served by the practice. Social change implications are expected to include decreased morbidity and mortality from flu among the Black inner city patients and closer alignment of the clinic with the Healthy People 2020 vaccination goals.