Elevating Home Health Aide Input in Co-Creation of COVID-19 Vaccine Messaging

Hillary D. Lum, Stacy Fischer, Kate Ytell, Laura Scherer, Sean T. O’Leary, Ronit Elk, Susan Hurley, Karla T. Washington, Matthew DeCamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Home health aides (HHAs) care for patients highly vulnerable to COVID-19 and are disproportionately women from minority communities that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. Yet, direct care workers are less likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to others. As the pandemic evolves, interest in vaccination may decrease suggesting the need for relevant vaccine messaging to HHAs. Objectives: (1) to describe HHAs and administrators’ perspectives related to COVID-19 vaccination messaging, and (2) to co-design a Communication Toolkit to create COVID-19 vaccine messages. Methods: HHAs and administrators from 4 geographically diverse Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC) hospice agencies were recruited for a multi-method process involving qualitative interviews (17 HHAs and 5 administrators), community engagement (CE) studios, and development of a Communication Toolkit. Interviews were guided by the PEN-3 conceptual framework to explore barriers and facilitators to vaccination. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: Despite power differences, HHAs and administrators share a commitment to protecting patients affected by serious illness. HHAs desire vaccine messaging that includes personal narratives, good news about the vaccine, and facts about benefits and risks of the vaccine. Preferred message formats include the agency intranet, daily briefings, or “little seeds” (ie, short, high-impact information). Through the studios, HHAs provided input on a Toolkit prototype with messages tailored to the context of home care. Conclusions: Grounded in the commitment of HHAs and administrators to protecting vulnerable patients, we co-created an adaptable Communication Toolkit to address COVID-19 vaccination misinformation and mistrust among direct care workers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • co-creation
  • direct care workers
  • home care
  • palliative care
  • vaccine messaging


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