Motivation for hepatitis B vaccine acceptance among medical and physician assistant students

Daniel J. Diekema, Kristi J. Ferguson, Bradley N. Doebbeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the acceptance rate and motivation for acceptance of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine among pre-clinical medical and physician assistant (PA) students in comparison with similar data obtained from resident and staff physicians. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of all second-year medical and PA students (n=170) at the University of Iowa College of Medicine was conducted in Spring 1992, requesting demographic data, preventive health measure use, and reasons for HBV vaccine acceptance. Responses were compared with data obtained from resident and staff physicians during a concurrent hospital-wide survey. Rates of vaccine acceptance and use of other preventive health measures were compared across the physician groups. Factor analysis was performed to examine reasons for vaccine acceptance among the students. RESULTS: The questionnaire was completed by 162 of the 170 students (95%). Nearly all (99%) of the eligible students had received at least one dose of the HBV vaccine. Vaccine acceptance rates were significantly higher among the students than among either the resident or the staff physicians (p=0.003, p<0.0001, respectively). Influenza vaccine acceptance and seat belt use were significantly higher among the resident and staff physicians than they were among the students. The students attributed their high HBV vaccine acceptance rate to the recommendations of authority figures. Threat of illness and issues of vaccine safety and efficacy were relatively unimportant among the students, though the residents and staff physicians reported threat of illness to be an important motivator for vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: Excellent HBV vaccine acceptance rates may be achieved among preclinical medical and PA students. Recommendations of authority figures are important motivators for HBV vaccine acceptance among students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • hepatitis B
  • prevention
  • students
  • vaccine acceptance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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