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Representações de idosos sobre a vacina da gripe. / [Representations of the elderly on the influenza vaccine].

Cien Saude Colet; 18(8): 2179-88, 2013 Aug.
Artigo em Português | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23896900
This study sought to understand the social representations of health and immunization for elderly individuals vaccinated and unvaccinated with influenza vaccine. The theoretical benchmark adopted was the Theory of Social Representations of a qualitative nature. The research was carried out with thirty elderly individuals, fifteen of whom were vaccinated against influenza and fifteen who were not. Individual interviews were conducted using a questionnaire for characterization and the Free Word Association of Test (TALP) as data collection instruments and analysis was conducted using Central Nucleus Theory. TALP data revealed differences between the representations for the elderly of the two groups. Those vaccinated considered health as being synonymous with well-being, permitting the conduct of daily activities and immunization as something that protects them from various evils. However, those who remained unvaccinated defined health as a product of divine will and immunization as something that protects, but has side effects, which discouraged them from taking it. The study indicated the importance of health education and demystification of misconceptions about vaccines, since healthy habits must be increasingly encouraged, thereby reducing the high rates of preventable morbidity and mortality.