From the Journals

Influenza vaccination status in DLBCL poorly documented



Annual influenza vaccination rates and documentation of vaccination status appear to be suboptimal among patients with newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, based on a retrospective analysis of data in the state of Georgia.

The researchers reviewed medical records of patients with a new diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma at three Georgia hospitals. Documentation related to vaccine administration, refusal, and patient counseling was collected between Feb. 1, 2015, and Oct. 31, 2017, Andres Chang, MD, PhD, of Emory University, Atlanta, and colleagues wrote. The findings were published in Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma & Leukemia.

Vaccination status within 1 year of diagnosis was documented for 61 of 107 patients. Among the 61 patients with documentation of influenza vaccination status, 35 (57%) were vaccinated. No reason was documented for vaccine refusal, and there was no follow-up documentation on vaccine counseling by nursing staff, physicians, or advanced practice providers in any of these admitted patients.

Nearly all documentation of influenza vaccination status came from the nursing staff. Only 4 of the 61 patients had documentation provided by primary oncologists or advanced practice providers, and those patients also had documentation from the outpatient nursing staff who subsequently administered the influenza vaccine.

“Routine outpatient vaccination screening and strategies for sharing and linking patient vaccination status between providers in different health care systems at the state and national levels could improve vaccination documentation in patients with lymphoma and provide opportunities to improve compliance,” the researchers wrote.

A key limitation of the study was the lack of adequate documentation, they explained. As a result, the reported vaccination rates were not more rigorously evaluated.

The study was funded by the Winship Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health. The authors reported financial affiliations with AbbVie, Acerta Pharma, Celgene, Gilead, Janssen, Pharmacyclics, and others.

SOURCE: Chang A et al. Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2019 Jan 2. doi: 10.1016/j.clml.2018.12.018.

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