Pretravel health preparation among US residents traveling to India to VFRs: importance of ethnicity in defining VFRs.

Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Journal of Travel Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.53). 03/2009; 16(2):112-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1708-8305.2008.00284.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT International travelers visiting friends and relatives (VFRs) in lower income countries experience high rates of travel-related infections. We examined demographic characteristics and pretravel preparation practices among US residents traveling to India to determine factors that may contribute to higher infection rates and that would allow for improved prevention strategies.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among US residents traveling to India in departure areas for flights to India at three US international airports during August 2005. Eligible travelers were US residents going to India who were English speaking and >or=18 years. Self-administered questionnaires were used to assess knowledge of and compliance with pretravel health recommendations.
Of 1,574 eligible travelers, 1,302 (83%) participated; 60% were male and the median age was 37. Eighty-five percent were of South Asian/Indian ethnicity and 76% reported VFR as the primary reason for travel. More than 90% of VFRs had at least a college education and only 6% cited financial barriers as reasons for not obtaining travel health services. VFRs were less likely than non-VFR travelers to seek pretravel health advice, to be protected against hepatitis A or typhoid fever, and less likely to be taking appropriate antimalarial chemoprophylaxis. However, when stratified by ethnicity, travelers of South Asian ethnicity were less likely than other travelers to adhere to pretravel health recommendations, regardless of VFR status.
Similar to previous studies, VFR status was associated with pretravel health practices that leave travelers at risk for important infectious diseases. This association differed by ethnicity, which may also be an important marker of nonadherence to pretravel health recommendations. These findings have important implications for identifying at-risk travelers and properly targeting prevention messages.

  • Journal of Travel Medicine 03/2015; 22(2). DOI:10.1111/jtm.12185 · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Immigrants who make or plan journeys to visit their families in their countries of origin (immigrants -visiting friends and relatives, I-VFR) have a higher risk of acquiring travel-associated diseases than other travellers. The main aim of this study is to analyse the knowledge of the immigrant population on the need to receive health advice (HA) before making international journeys in general and in particular before travelling to their country of origin. Observational, multicentre study. Ten Family Doctors from 10 Health Centres in Catalonia and Aragon participated PARTICIPANTS: A total of 555 immigrants ≥ 15 years of age, who consulted their Family Doctor and agreed to answer a questionnaire. Opportunity sampling was used. A total of 389 (70.1%) of those surveyed considered it necessary to receive HA before making an international journey, 406 (73.2%) were I-VFR and 145 (35.7%) had requested HA prior to the journey, mostly from their Family Doctor (n=60; 41.1%). Almost two-thirds (261, 65.2%) of the subjects did not seek HA, with the most common reason being that they did not consider it necessary (173, 42.6%). I-VFR do not usually request HA prior to travelling, basic due to considering it unnecessary. When they do request it, they are very often initially directed to their Family Doctor.
    Atención Primaria 12/2013; 46(4). DOI:10.1016/j.aprim.2013.10.004 · 0.89 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Because of rapid air travel, international travelers are exposed to diversity of health risks of the unfamiliar environment of the visited area; epidemics and pandemics which are related to travel can be minimized by suitable precautions taken before, during and after travel. Large numbers of Saudis travel each year for various purposes. Yet, there is only limited data concerning the extent to which Saudi travelers seek travel advice and vaccination before their departures. Aim and Objectives: Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the levels of travel health knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) among Saudi travelers at international airports of KSA and to identify where these travelers obtain travel health information. Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at two of the four international airports in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), namely King Abdul-Aziz international airport (KAA) in Jeddah and King Fahad International airport (KFA) in Dammam. Any adult Saudi international traveler departing from the two selected international airports was eligible for inclusion in the sample. Randomly selected individuals (n=800) were invited to fill an anonymous self-administered questionnaire that was designed to assess traveler's knowledge and attitude about travel health in addition to pre-travel practices. Data entry and statistical analyses were done using SPSS 20.0 statistical software package. In addition to descriptive statistics, multiple stepwise backward regression analysis was used after testing for normal distribution, linearity and homoscedasticity, and analysis of variance for the full regression models. Statistical significance was considered at p-value <0.05. Result: The majority of respondents were males (78.8%) with mean age of 33±10.1 years and mostly with intermediate or higher education (98.1%). The most frequently reported purpose was tourism (69.9%), which were mainly to Arab countries (60.9%) followed by Asia (31.7%). The lowest levels of knowledge were related to transmission of viral hepatitis B and yellow fever, while the highest were related to transmission of influenza, diarrhea, and gonorrhea. They had highly positive attitude regarding importance of personal hygiene (84.1%), while others were not as high, e.g. the importance of visiting doctor before travel (50%), and 52.7% upon importance of vaccination (52.7%). Only 19.9% of the participants consulted a doctor for their travel, 23.7% looked for health-related information, and only 11.2% got such information, and 3.3% got vaccination. From the regression model, it was evident that increasing age, increasing level of education, not traveling alone, and being in the Eastern region were associated with higher knowledge scores. Conclusion: Adult Saudi travelers have major deficiencies in knowledge regarding travel-related disease transmission and prevention, their attitudes are better, but their pre-travel practices are inadequate. Knowledge, attitude, and practice are inter-correlated and are influenced by age, education, and certain travel characteristics.


1 Download