University Students Immunized and Not Immunized for Measles

By Pielak, Karen L.; Hilton, Ann | Canadian Journal of Public Health, May/June 2003 | Go to article overview

University Students Immunized and Not Immunized for Measles

Pielak, Karen L., Hilton, Ann, Canadian Journal of Public Health

A Comparison of Beliefs, Attitudes, and Perceived Barriers and Benefits


Objective: To compare students who were immunized or not immunized during the 1997 Simon Fraser University measles outbreak in British Columbia.

Methods: Descriptive comparative study using the Health Belief Model as a theoretical framework. A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to a stratified random sample of 400 immunized and 400 non-immunized SFU students.

Results: Perceived susceptibility, severity, barriers, cues to action, threat and student age were significantly related to being immunized. Logistic regression analysis achieved an overall correct prediction rate of 84.7% by including the contribution of the four variables of susceptibility, barriers, cues to action, and health motivation. Content analysis of the non-immunized students' descriptions of what it would have taken for them to be immunized indicated the influence of these four variables.

Discussion: The Immunization Health Belief Model Scale is a valuable tool for ascertaining attitudes and beliefs relating to immunization decision-making. Interventions targeted to significant beliefs may increase immunization coverage levels and result in improved disease prevention.

In 1997, a measles outbreak began among students attending Simon Fraser University (SFU) in British Columbia (BC). Measles vaccine was offered to all SFU students, faculty and staff. Immunization clinic times and locations were widely advertised through posters, the campus radio station, and the university newsletter. Informed consent to be immunized was obtained from vaccine recipients, including informing them of the contraindications and non-indications for vaccine receipt. The 20% of the targeted population who were not immunized presented a public health concern as they remained potentially susceptible to a highly contagious, serious disease. The majority of students were susceptible as they had received only one previous dose of measles vaccine and two doses of vaccine are required for immunity.1

There is a paucity of research related to the immunization-seeking behaviours of the university-aged segment of our population, and specifically in response to a disease outbreak. Research has primarily examined immunization decision-making of health care workers as they pertain to the receipt of hepatitis B and influenza vaccines,2,3 the elderly and pneumococcal and influenza vaccines,4,5 and parents of children receiving the routine childhood immunization series.6,7 Ascertainment of the beliefs related to immunization decision-making of this university-aged cohort would inform public health providers and enable the design of evidence-based immunization and education strategies for future outbreak events.

A good deal of the knowledge regarding the factors influencing immunization decision-making has been obtained from studies using the theoretical framework of the Health Belief Model (HBM). According to the HBM,8-10 deciding to undertake a health-seeking behaviour will not take place unless a person is psychologically ready to take action relative to the particular threat. Readiness is influenced by the extent to which a person feels susceptible; regards the condition as having potentially serious consequences; believes the actions will reduce susceptibility to or severity of the condition should it occur; and believes that benefits outweigh the anticipated barriers (or cost) of taking action.8-10 In addition, cues to action (e.g., mass media, advice from others, illness in others), demographic, sociopsychological variables (e.g., personality, social class, peer and reference-group pressure, health motivation, confidence), and structural variables act as modifying factors that affect perception and indirectly influence a person's tendency to act.8-10 Research with health care workers, the elderly, and with parents of small children about immunization decision-making and follow-up suggests the importance of perceived disease severity, personal susceptibility, cues to action, and barriers related to inconvenience of being immunized, vaccine cost, safety and side effects in decision-making. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

University Students Immunized and Not Immunized for Measles


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.