Intervention hesitancy among healthcare personnel: conceptualizing beyond vaccine hesitancy

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We propose an emerging conceptualization of "intervention hesitancy" to address a broad spectrum of hesitancy to disease prevention interventions among healthcare personnel (HCP) beyond vaccine hesitancy. To demonstrate this concept and its analytical benefits, we used a qualitative case-study methodology, identifying a "spectrum" of disease prevention interventions based on (1) the intervention's effectiveness, (2) how the intervention is regulated among HCP in the Israeli healthcare system, and (3) uptake among HCP in the Israeli healthcare system. Our cases ultimately contribute to a more nuanced conceptualization of hesitancy that HCP express towards disease prevention interventions. Our case interventions included the seasonal influenza vaccine, the Mantoux test, and the hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine. Influenza and HBV are vaccine-preventable diseases, though their respective vaccines vary significantly in effectiveness and uptake among HCP. The Mantoux test is a tuberculin skin test which provides a prevention benchmark for tuberculosis (TB), a non-vaccine preventable disease. We conducted semi-structured interviews with relevant stakeholders and analyzed them within Israeli and international policy context between 2016 and 2019, a period just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose the conceptualization of "intervention hesitancy"-beyond "vaccine hesitancy"-as "hesitancy towards a wide range of public health interventions, including but not limited to vaccines". Results suggested that intervention hesitancy among HCP is rooted in weak trust in their employer, poor employment conditions, as well as mixed institutional guidelines and culture. Conceptualizing intervention hesitancy expands the ability of healthcare systems to understand the root of hesitancy and foster a supportive institutional culture and trust, cognizant of diverse disease prevention interventions beyond vaccination.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)171-187
Number of pages17
JournalMonash Bioethics Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2022


  • Healthcare personnel
  • Infection control
  • Intervention hesitancy
  • Nonpharmaceutical interventions
  • Occupational health
  • Policy
  • Trust
  • Vaccines

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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