Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effect of an audiovisual message for tetanus booster vaccination broadcast in the waiting room

Caroline Eubelen1, Fannette Brendel2, Jean-Luc Belche2, Anne Freyens3, Sophie Vanbelle4 and Didier Giet2*

Author Affiliations

1 Centre de Santé Intégrée des Carrières, rue Vieille Voie de Liège, 1, B-4140 Sprimont, Belgium

2 Department of General Medicine, University of Liège, CHU Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium

3 Department of General Medicine, University of Toulouse, Faculté de Médecine de Toulouse Rangueil, Route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse, France

4 Department of Methodology and Statistics, University of Maastricht, Peter Debeyeplein 1, 6229 HA Maastricht, The Netherlands

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BMC Family Practice 2011, 12:104  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-104

Published: 28 September 2011



General practitioners (GPs) often lack time and resources to invest in health education; audiovisual messages broadcast in the waiting room may be a useful educational tool. This work was designed to assess the effect of a message inviting patients to ask for a tetanus booster vaccination.


A quasi experimental study was conducted in a Belgian medical practice consisting of 6 GPs and 4 waiting rooms (total: 20,000 contacts/year). A tetanus booster vaccination audiovisual message was continuously broadcast for 6 months in 2 randomly selected waiting rooms (intervention group - 3 GPs) while the other 2 waiting rooms remained unequipped (control group - 3 GPs). At the end of the 6-month period, the number of vaccine adult-doses delivered by local pharmacies in response to GPs' prescriptions was recorded. As a reference, the same data were also collected retrospectively for the general practice during the same 6-month period of the previous year.


During the 6-month reference period where no audiovisual message was broadcast in the 4 waiting rooms, the number of prescriptions presented for tetanus vaccines was respectively 52 (0.44%) in the intervention group and 33 (0.38%) in the control group (p = 0.50). By contrast, during the 6-month study period, the number of prescriptions differed between the two groups (p < 0.0001), rising significantly to 91 (0.79%) in the intervention group (p = 0.0005) while remaining constant in the control group (0.38% vs 0.39%; p = 0.90).


Broadcasting an audiovisual health education message in the GPs' waiting room was associated with a significant increase in the number of adult tetanus booster vaccination prescriptions delivered by local pharmacies.