PhD Graduates – Meharry

Pamela Meharry, PhD
Spring 2012

“Maternal Influenza Vaccination: Strategies to Enhance Vaccine Uptake of Pregnant Women and Improve Mother and Infant Outcomes”

Abstract:
Pregnant women and young infants are two vulnerable populations at risk of severe complications from influenza. Maternal vaccination reduces the risk of influenza-related morbidity and mortality to both high-risk groups, yet the vaccine uptake of pregnant women is less than nationally mandated. A theoretically-based pamphlet entitled “Influenza in Pregnancy” was specifically designed to inform pregnant women, and in turn, increase vaccine uptake. A prospective pretest-posttest design randomized 135 pregnant women in the Northeastern United States to one of three groups, with the primary outcome measure of vaccination. 66.9% (89/133) were vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Both the pamphlet group 72.9% (35/48), (χ² = 6.81, df = 1 p = .009), and the pamphlet and benefit statement group 86.1% (31/36), (χ² = 13.74, df = 1, p < .001), had higher vaccine uptake than the control group 46.9% (23/49). Further significant differences were obtained through ANCOVA and Bonferroni pair-wise comparisons. Importantly, the pregnant women’s perception of vaccine safety (F = 6.20, df = 2-130, p < 0.01), and benefit to mother and infant, (F = 3.60, df = 2-130 p < 0.05), significantly improved compared to the control group. The novel pamphlet provided a simplistic means to considerably increase the influenza vaccine uptake among pregnant women.

PhD_Meharry
Pictured above (from left to right):
Dr. Cheryl Beck, Dr. Cusson, Dr. Pamela Meharry, Dr. Marietta Vazquez, Dr. Xiaomei Cong