Ann Rheum Dis 62:685 doi:10.1136/ard.62.7.685
  • Letter

Factors influencing uptake of influenza vaccination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

  1. M J Bridges1,
  2. D Coady2,
  3. C A Kelly1,
  4. J Hamilton1,
  5. C Heycock1
  1. 1Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sheriff Hill, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE9 6SX, UK
  2. 2Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE7 7DN, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr M J Bridges, Department of Rheumatology, James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesborough TS4 3BW, UK;
  • Accepted 8 December 2002

Recent British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) guidelines1 have advised that all patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving methotrexate (MTX), cyclosporin A, or azathioprine should receive an annual influenza vaccination. Because there are relatively few data about immunisation rates in patients with RA, we undertook a study with the following aims: (a) to document the rate of uptake of influenza vaccine in patients with RA; (b) to assess the degree of conformity to the BSR guidelines; (c) to explore the factors that influence vaccine uptake.

One hundred and twenty nine consecutive patients with RA were assessed between September 2001 and February 2002 during their routine hospital outpatient appointment. At the end of the consultation, the doctor inquired about vaccination status using standardised questionnaires. Information about whether the patient had been immunised during …