Zahid Ammar, Verdah Qadir Baloch, Mamoona Sattar, Arbab Humza, Muqtasid Sajjad


Introduction: Pneumonia represents the leading cause of infection-related death and the fifth cause of overall mortality in the elderly. With increasing age, the human immune system undergoes characteristic changes which lead to increased incidence and severity of infectious diseases and to insufficient protection following vaccination as antibody response of elderly vaccines are weaker and decline faster. The purpose of this study was to determine knowledge and attitude towards pneumonia and its vaccination in elderly patients attending two tertiary care private and public hospitals of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Materials & Methods: A cross-sectional study on 150 elderly patients (≥ 60 years of age) was conducted in the Out Patients Department of Rehman Medical Institute (RMI) Peshawar and Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) Peshawar from April to May 2016 to determine the knowledge and attitude towards pneumonia and its vaccination in the elderly. Study group was divided into low and high socioeconomic status (SES) on the basis of patients coming to government hospital i.e. HMC, and private hospital i.e. RMI. Data were collected through convenience sampling technique. Exclusion criteria were patients who did not give consent to be part of the study. Data were analyzed by SPSS ver. 23; comparisons were done by Chi Square test keeping p≤0.05.

Results: Of 150 elderly patients, 103(68.7%) were males and 47(31.3%) were females, with a mean age of 67.30 ± 7.44 years. RMC had more educated patients compared to HMC (p=0.012); more RMI patients knew that the elderly were susceptible to pneumonia (p=0.011); and that the vaccine was effective and safe for prevention of pneumonia (p<0.001). Few physicians of both hospitals had suggested the 23-PPV vaccination for patients, still the RMI group did significantly better (p=0.023); however more patients from RMI had not received the vaccine (p<0.001). The main reasons for not getting vaccinated were that they had not heard about it (HMC 58.6%, RMI 65.0%); nobody had advised them to get vaccinated (HMC 17.1%, RMI 30.0%); and they ignored it because they thought it was not that necessary (HMC 22.9%, RMI 05.0%); these differences were significant (p=0.015).

Conclusions: Public awareness programs about vaccination for the elderly are deficient or ineffective, particularly for public hospital patients, and need to be reinforced at the state level.

Keywords: Pneumonia; Immunization; Vaccination; Aged; Health promotion

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