Document Type: Original Article
Department of Public Health Nursing, Nursing Faculty, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey
Faculty of Nursing, Istanbul University – Cerrahpasa Florence Nightingale, Istanbul, Turkey
Travel Health Center, Ankara, Turkey
Directorate General of Health for Border and Coastal Areas, Istanbul, Turkey
Introduction: Travel health centers offer very important health services for individuals traveling abroad. Little is known about the health status and knowledge of travel health, travel-related diseases, and vaccinations of individuals who travel abroad and visit travel health centers. This research studied travelers who visited a travel health center in order to evaluate their behavior and knowledge of travel health, travel-related diseases, and vaccinations.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 407 participants between June and September 2018, the busiest time for international travel. It was administered at a travel health center attached to the Directorate General of Health for Border and Coastal Areas of Turkey.
Results: The results indicated that 78.6% of participants did not obtain travel health insurance before their trip, and 63.6% did not prepare a travel health kit for their trip. Moreover, 61.4% reported that they did not know about the health conditions and practices of their destination country. Individuals traveling for business did more research on travel-related diseases compared to those traveling for other reasons. Additionally, 61.3% of individuals who rated themselves healthy sought information about the health conditions at their travel destinations.
Conclusion: The current study showed that the knowledge and healthcare practices among international travelers are inadequate. Raising awareness is needed to create a positive behavioral change in people’s travel health practices.