Article

Compliance of Austrian tourists with prophylactic measures.

Institute of Specific Prophylaxis and Tropical Medicine, University of Vienna, Austria.
European Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 04/1992; 8(2):243-51. DOI: 10.1007/BF00144808
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Physicians dealing with prophylactic measures for tourists going to developing countries will often not be able to foresee the outcome of their recommendations. Therefore an open study with 2,627 Austrian tourists on their flight home from a tropical destination was carried out to evaluate the behaviour of typical short-term travellers with respect to different kinds of precautionary measures. 94.1% of all tourists informed themselves before travelling abroad, but a high proportion of travellers tends to contact only their travel agency or their personal friends, this leading to inadequate information. Regarding the individual performance of precautionary measures the results indicate a few principal conclusions: Among the recommended inoculations the vaccinations against typhoid fever, poliomyelitis and tetanus are widely underestimated, the latter two in particular for adults, while compliance with the passive immunization against Hepatitis A is generally good (more than 80% of all travellers receive Hepatitis A immunoglobulins prophylactically). The most crucial point seems to be the chemoprophylaxis against malaria in as much as a) there seems to be a considerable lack of information about malaria endemic areas among physicians, b) tourists tend to use the most simple applicable drug unaware of epidemiological considerations and c) the regular intake of chemoprophylaxis declines significantly with the complexity of the intake procedure. In addition, tourists are in general well informed about nutritional risks, but only half of them will receive adequate information on the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and a basic medical travel kit.

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