Studying compliance rates under state laws and institutional policies on influenza immunizations to understand the impact of law on public health

The Foundation's program, Public Health Law Research: Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health, was designed to build the evidence for public health law and policy, translate research findings into practical tools to increase the support for and use of law by policy makers and public health practitioners, and to translate findings to other fields and venues to improve and protect health.The purpose of this study is to empirically demonstrate the impact of state law and health care facility policy on health care worker (HCW) influenza immunization rates. Using traditional legal research and analysis along with hierarchical linear modeling and quantitative statistical methods, this study will analyze state immunization laws with state-level immunization data from a nationwide survey, individual healthcare facility policy, and influenza immunization rate data derived from a sample of hospital-based infection control professionals. This interdisciplinary team of investigators composed of a nurse-lawyer, a family physician-immunization expert, a health economist, and an epidemiologist will use influenza immunization among HCWs to try to demonstrate the impact of law on public health. The specific aims are to: (1) develop a comprehensive inventory of the body of laws regulating HCW influenza immunization in each state; (2) determine the relationship of state law to hospital-based HCW influenza vaccination rates; (3) determine the impact of individual institutional policies and their implementation on hospital-based HCW influenza vaccination rates; and (4) determine the relative impact of state laws and individual institutional policies/implementation on hospital-based HCW influenza vaccination rates. Deliverables include publications and presentations of research findings in peer reviewed journals and peer reviewed scientific sessions. In addition, the research team will develop targeted audience-appropriate messages for policy makers and legislators in addition to the scientific community.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $449,116.00

Awarded on: 11/2/2010

Time frame: 11/15/2010 - 8/14/2013

Grant Number: 68394


Patricia McGovern Sweeney
Project Director


Richard K. Zimmerman
Project Director