Vaccination coverages threaten to decrease because of false beliefs in their unsafety and inefficacy. Therefore formation of future health-care workers on this topic is fundamental to deal with any doubt and to promote active immunization among general population.
In order to assess health-care students knowledge about vaccination before an integrated seminar on this topic, and to evaluate their improvement after the educational intervention, an integrated educational intervention was held by a multidisciplinary team. Before and after the seminar, 118 students of medicine and biology schools at Palermo University were asked to answer 10 multiple-choice questions regarding vaccine history, mechanism of action, side effects, composition, use and nowadays issues (hesitancy). Two more questions investigating possible changes on students’ attitudes towards vaccination and the usefulness of the formative intervention, were added at the post-test phase of the survey.
Eighty-one out of 118 students (68.6%) answered to both pre- and post-test questions. 97.6% and 81.5% of the participating group also completed the two additional questions about their improvement in knowledge (question 11) and attitudes (question 12) towards vaccinations. The post-test results showed a significant improvement for all questions administered, except for number 3, with a overall percentage of correct answers increasing from 38.8% to 77.6% (p<0.001).
The present study highlights the importance of educating health-care professions students by means of integrated extra-curricular intervention to be held early in their degree curricula in order to improve knowledge and attitudes towards vaccinations and to prepare them to promote vaccines among the general population.
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