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Healthcare Practitioners Knowledge of Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Laura Jane Mackenzie, Jaquelin Anne Bousie, Phillip Newman, Janique Waghorn, John Edward Cunningham, Mary-Jessimine Ann Bushell

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press21 Nov 2022
Published23 Nov 2022


King's Authors


Background: Vaccine pharmacovigilance is at the forefront of the public eye. Shoulder Injuries Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) is a poorly understood Adverse Event Following Immunisation, with iatrogenic origins. Criteria for medicolegal diagnosis of SIRVA is conflicting, current literature and educational materials are lacking, and healthcare practitioner knowledge of the condition is unknown. Methods: A cross-sectional, convenience sampled survey, utilising a validated online questionnaire assessed practitioner knowledge of SIRVA, safe injecting, and upper limb anatomy, and preferred definition for SIRVA. Results: Mean scores were moderate for safe injecting knowledge (69%), and poor for knowledge of anatomy (42%) and SIRVA (55%). Non-immunising healthcare practitioners scored significantly (p = 0.01, and < 0.05, respectively) higher than immunising practitioners for anatomy (2.213 ± 1.52 vs. 3.12 ± 1.50), and safe injecting knowledge (6.70 ± 1.34 vs. 7.14 ± 1.27). Only 52% of authorised vaccinators accurately selected a 40 × 20 mm area recommended for safe injecting. Majority (91.7%) of respondents thought nerve injuries should be included in the diagnostic criteria for SIRVA. Discussion and conclusions: Greater education and awareness of SIRVA is needed in all healthcare disciplines. Consensus regarding SIRVA definition is paramount for accurate reporting and improved future understanding of all aspects of SIRVA.

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