Profiling vaccine believers and skeptics in nurses : A latent profile analysis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Vivian Wan In Wei
  • Arthur Tang
  • Samuel Yeung Shan Wong
  • Shui Shan Lee
  • Kin On Kwok


Original languageEnglish
Article number104142
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Online published27 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


Background: A tailored immunization program is deemed more successful in encouraging vaccination. Understanding the profiles of vaccine hesitancy constructs in nurses can help policymakers in devising such programs. Encouraging vaccination in nurses is an important step in building public confidence in the upcoming COVID-19 and influenza vaccination campaigns. 
Objectives: Using a person-centered approach, this study aimed to reveal the profiles of the 5C psychological constructs of vaccine hesitancy (confidence, complacency, constraints, calculation, and collective responsibility) among Hong Kong nurses. 
Design: Cross-sectional online survey. 
Settings: With the promotion of a professional nursing organization, we invited Hong Kong nurses to complete an online survey between mid-March and late April 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak. 
Participants: 1,193 eligible nurses (mean age = 40.82, SD = 10.49; with 90.0% being female) were included in the analyses. 
Methods: In the online survey, we asked the invited nurses to report their demographics, COVID-19-related work demands (including the supply of personal protective equipment, work stress, and attitudes towards workplace infection control policies), the 5C vaccine hesitancy components, seasonal influenza vaccine uptake history, and the COVID-19 vaccine uptake intention. Latent profile analysis was employed to identify distinct vaccine hesitancy antecedent subgroups. 
Results: Results revealed five profiles, including “believers” (31%; high confidence, collective responsibility; low complacency, constraint), “skeptics” (11%; opposite to the believers), “outsiders” (14%; low calculation, collective responsibility), “contradictors” (4%; high in all 5C constructs), and “middlers” (40%; middle in all 5C constructs). Believers were less educated, reported more long-term illnesses, greater work stress, higher perceived personal protective equipment sufficiency, and stronger trust in government than skeptics. They were older and had higher perceived personal protective equipment sufficiency than middlers. Also, believers were older and had greater work stress than outsiders. From the highest to the lowest on vaccination uptake and intention were believers and contradictors, then middlers and outsiders, and finally skeptics. 
Conclusion: Different immunization programs can be devised based on the vaccine hesitancy profiles and their predictors. Despite both profiles being low in vaccination uptake and intention, our results distinguished between outsiders and skeptics regarding their different levels of information-seeking engagement. The profile structure reveals the possibilities in devising tailored interventions based on their 5C characteristics. The current data could serve as the reference for the identification of individual profile membership and future profiling studies. Future endeavor is needed to examine the generalizability of the profile structure in other populations and across different study sites. Tweetable abstract: Vaccination campaigns for nurses can be tailored for the five vaccine hesitancy profiles (i.e., believers, skeptics, outsiders, contradictors, and middlers).

Research Area(s)

  • COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccine, Influenza vaccine, Latent profile analysis, Nurse, Person-centered approach, Vaccine hesitancy

Citation Format(s)

Profiling vaccine believers and skeptics in nurses : A latent profile analysis. / Leung, Cyrus Lap Kwan; Li, Kin-Kit; Wei, Vivian Wan In et al.

In: International Journal of Nursing Studies, Vol. 126, 104142, 02.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review