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Mood and Influenza Vaccination in Older Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Ayling, Kieran; Fairclough, Lucy; Buchanan, Heather; Wetherell, Mark A.; Vedhara, Kavita


Kieran Ayling

Lucy Fairclough

Heather Buchanan

Mark A. Wetherell

Kavita Vedhara


Objective: Positive mood on the day of vaccination has been associated with subsequent antibody responses to the influenza vaccine in older adults. The primary aim of this trial was to examine whether a brief intervention was able to enhance positive mood at the time of vaccination in a clinical context. Secondary aims included exploratory analyses of the effects of the intervention on non-specific and influenza-specific immunity.

Methods: One hundred and three older adults (65-85 years) participated in a two-arm, parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Participants viewed either a 15-minute video package designed to induce positive mood or a matched neutral control video, immediately prior to receiving a standard dose quadrivalent influenza vaccination. State affect and secretory IgA levels were assessed immediately prior to, and following, the interventions. Antigen-specific IgG responses to the vaccination were assessed at 4 and 16-weeks post-vaccination.

Results: The positive mood intervention resulted in significant improvements in state positive affect, compared with the neutral control. Secretory IgA levels significantly increased across both groups. Antigen-specific IgG responses to influenza vaccination were not statistically significantly different between groups, although point-estimates of effect size favoured participants who viewed the positive mood intervention for most strains at both 4 and 16-weeks post-vaccination.

Conclusions: A 15-minute intervention can improve positive mood in older adults prior to vaccination. Future trials should examine whether enhancing mood at the time of vaccination could enhance the effectiveness of influenza vaccination on patients and benefit health services.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 31, 2019
Print ISSN 0278-6133
Electronic ISSN 1930-7810
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 11
Pages 984-996
APA6 Citation Ayling, K., Fairclough, L., Buchanan, H., Wetherell, M. A., & Vedhara, K. (2019). Mood and Influenza Vaccination in Older Adults: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Health Psychology, 38(11), 984-996.
Keywords Positive affect; Intervention; Positive mood; Vaccination; Immunity; Psychoneuroimmunology
Publisher URL
Additional Information ©American Psychological Association, 2019. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:


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