AIM: To identify primary care factors associated with immunisation coverage.
METHODS: A survey during 2005-2006 of a random sample of New Zealand primary care practices, with over-sampling of practices serving indigenous children. An immunisation audit was conducted for children registered at each practice. Practice characteristics and the knowledge and attitudes of doctors, nurses and caregivers were measured. Practice immunisation coverage was defined as the percentage of registered children from 6 weeks to 23 months old at each practice who were fully immunised for age. Associations of practice, doctor, nurse and caregiver factors with practiceimmunisation coverage were determined using multiple regression analyses.
RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-four (61%) of 205 eligible practices were recruited. A median (25th-75th centile) of 71% (57-77%) of registered children at each practice was fully immunised. In multivariate analyses, immunisation coverage was higher at practices with no staff shortages (median practice coverage 76% vs 67%, P = 0.004) and where doctors were confident in their immunisation knowledge (72% vs 67%, P= 0.005). Coverage was lower if the children's parents had received information antenatally, which discouraged immunisation (67% vs 73%, P = 0.008). Coverage decreased as socio-economic deprivation of the registered population increased (P < 0.001) and as the children's age (P = 0.001) and registration age (P = 0.02) increased.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher immunisation coverage is achieved by practices that establish an early relationship with the family and that are adequately resourced with stable and confident staff. Immunisation promotion should begin antenatally.
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).