Project Summary

Which problem is the research team trying to solve?

Public health professionals think that COVID-19 vaccination is the most promising solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, vaccination can only be successful if many people get vaccinated. Some people are not sure about the COVID-19 vaccines; this is called vaccine hesitancy. People are concerned because scientists developed the COVID-19 vaccines quickly. Few research studies on COVID-19 vaccine safety exist. Also, a lot of poor quality information can be found on the internet and in other media. As a result, many people have false beliefs and mistrust about the COVID-19 vaccines. Some groups in the United States have higher vaccine hesitancy. This includes a group of healthcare professionals who work in places like nursing homes, usually called long-term care (LTC) workers. Many LTC workers do not plan to get vaccinated.

Why is this study important?

LTC workers are an important group to target because they serve a high-risk, elderly population. They have a higher risk of passing the virus on to others. As many are people of color, they also have unequal risks of infection, illness, and death from COVID-19. It is therefore important to increase their confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines. It is not clear how best to do this. In this trial, the research team will study LTC workers from nursing and residential care settings, typically certified nurse assistants and residential care assistants, which the research team refers to as direct care workers (DCW).

What are the goals?

The research team plans to compare two promising ways to increase confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine, so that more people are willing to get vaccinated.

What will the research team do?

The research team worked closely with DCW partner organizations to decide on two methods to improve confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines. One of the methods is a live webinar, which is a meeting that happens online using a video-conference program. In this meeting, researchers will look at information about the COVID-19 vaccine, talk about concerns, and answer questions. The other method is a website to look at and reply to posts on social media, such as Facebook, YouTube and Tik Tok.

Who will be in the study?

The team will invite DCWs to participate in the study and will include adult DCWs who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine. The study will not include people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What will the research team compare?

The research team will compare the live webinar and social media website methods to information that people would usually get about the COVID-19 vaccines and put people in one of these three groups based on chance. They will compare these groups on the measures described below.

What will the research team measure?

The study will measure whether people get vaccinated and their confidence in the vaccine. It will also measure how sure people are about their choice to vaccinate or not and whether they feel it was a good choice for them. To better understand how the social media website and live webinars might impact people, researchers will also measure people’s vaccine knowledge, trust in medical scientists, and views on what people who are similar to them think of the vaccine. The study team will collect this information through online surveys sent to participants right before and after they view the live webinar, social media website, or usual information and two and six months later.

How can people use the results?

This study will show how to help people become more confident in the COVID-19 vaccines. This may be especially helpful for people who rely on information that is out of date or wrong.

How will DCWs and other relevant people make this research successful?

The research team partnered closely with DCWs and their organizations to design this study and is relying on the knowledge and experience of people who are or who have been DCWs to run the study.

Project Information

Glyn Elwyn, MD, PhD, MSc
Marie-Anne Durand PhD, MSc, MPhil
Trustees of Dartmouth College

Key Dates

36 months
July 2024


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Last updated: November 23, 2021