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Telephone appointing by receptionists improved uptake of influenza immunisation in low risk people aged 65–74 years

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QUESTION: In elderly patients aged 65–74 years who have not previously been recalled for influenza immunisation, is telephone appointing by receptionists effective for improving uptake of influenza immunisation?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, blinded {healthcare providers, data collectors, data analysts}*, controlled trial with approximately 3 months of follow up.


3 general practices in London and Essex, UK.


1318 patients who were 65–74 years of age and registered at 1 of 3 general practices that serve a multi-ethnic, inner city population. Patients with chronic disease who had been previously recalled for influenza immunisation were excluded. Follow up was 100%.


1206 households (1318 patients, mean age 69 y, 55% women), which were grouped within each practice, were allocated to telephone appointing (intervention group, 605 households, 660 patients) or to the control group (601 households, 658 patients). Each household in the intervention group received ≤2 telephone contacts (made at different times during the day) by a receptionist who offered to make an appointment for influenza vaccination at a …

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  • * Information provided by author.

  • For correspondence: Dr S A Hull, Department of General Practice and Primary Care, Medical Sciences Building, Queen Mary College, London, UK. s.a.hull{at}

  • Source of funding: East London and Essex Network of Researchers.