Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Cathleen Colleran-Santos


Vaccination is regarded by many as the most effective means of reducing influenza infection and disease; however, many people in the United States are hospitalized from flu-related illness each year. Adults 65 years and older account for more than half of these hospitalizations and almost all flu-related deaths. This project aimed to identify barriers to receiving the influenza vaccine among the adult population (> 65 years of age) in a community setting. The goal was to develop a teaching tool that would assist practitioners towards improving influenza vaccination rates among this population. The Health Belief Model was the theoretical framework utilized. The project was conducted at a primary care practice located in a community outside of New York City. Fifty participants (> 65 years) with no prior influenza vaccination were invited to take part in a short survey involving immunization status and reason for lack of influenza vaccination. Participants completed a researcher designed survey in a private location within the practice setting. Descriptive analysis was completed. Results revealed that 45 (32 females and 13 males) participants refused the influenza vaccine based on fear of becoming infected with the flu from the vaccine itself. The remaining 5 (males) participants based their refusal on never having the flu and therefore deemed the vaccine unnecessary. An educational handout was developed to aid in patient education related to influenza vaccination. Future implications involve the utilization of this tool by all healthcare worker and providers, as well as educating the target population in all community settings where influenza vaccines are administered, ultimately reducing the incidences of influenza and its associated complications by overcoming barriers to vaccination.