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Health advice given by general practitioners for travellers from New Zealand.
N Z Med J. 1999 May 14; 112(1087):158-61.NZ

Abstract

AIMS

To investigate where general practitioners (GP's) in New Zealand view travel health advice best given and where they refer for this advice, the prevalence of travel health advice reported to be given, and the prevalence of written advice, including a doctor's letter.

METHOD

This was a descriptive cross-sectional study, using self-report questionnaires, sent to 400 GPs randomly selected from the register of the New Zealand Medical Council.

RESULTS

Three hundred and thirty-two GPs (83%) responded. Most GPs reported that they saw travel medicine as best practised in general practice (241/308, 78%) or in a combination of locations, usually including general practice (28/308, 9%). Most GPs (223/308, 72%) did not refer travellers for travel health advice. Health advice concerning malaria (310/310, 100%), immunisation (309/310, 100%), travellers' diarrhoea (296/305, 97%), insect avoidance (287/ 299, 96%), sexually transmitted diseases/human immunodeficiency virus (233/283, 82%), water purification (235/293, 80%) and other areas (35/75, 47%) was given. Written advice was usually given by 23% of GPs (69/302). Written advice was significantly more likely to be provided by those GPs with an interest in travel medicine (chi2=5.67, df=1, p<0.005), experience in tropical medicine/developing countries (chi2=6.69, df=1, p<0.001), a policy on travel medicine (chi2=21.4, df=1, p<0.001), a written policy on travel medicine (chi2=302.0, df=1, p<0.001), who saw a higher number of travellers per week (t=-2.51, df=296, p<0.05) and who saw a significantly higher proportion of patients who were travellers (t=-3.27, df=-295, p=0.001). Almost all GPs (303/310, 98%) reported giving their travelling patients a doctor's letter at least sometimes but only 7% (23/310) always gave travellers a doctor's letter. GPs with training in travel medicine/related area were significantly more likely to provide travellers with a doctor's letter (chi=11.61, df=3, p<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

This study confirmed that GPs in New Zealand see travel health advice as best given in general practice. Travel health advice, as recommended by New Zealand guidelines, should continue to be given. With limited time in general practice to advise travellers, GPs should also consider giving written advice, including a doctor's letter, more often. Epidemiological and specialist support by public health units and commercial groups, continuing medical education and training in travel medicine for GPs are among the major considerations. Further studies are needed concerning the adequacy and currency of destination-specific advice for travellers.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. Peter.Leggat@jcu.edu.auNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

10378811

Citation

Leggat, P A., et al. "Health Advice Given By General Practitioners for Travellers From New Zealand." The New Zealand Medical Journal, vol. 112, no. 1087, 1999, pp. 158-61.
Leggat PA, Heydon JL, Menon A. Health advice given by general practitioners for travellers from New Zealand. N Z Med J. 1999;112(1087):158-61.
Leggat, P. A., Heydon, J. L., & Menon, A. (1999). Health advice given by general practitioners for travellers from New Zealand. The New Zealand Medical Journal, 112(1087), 158-61.
Leggat PA, Heydon JL, Menon A. Health Advice Given By General Practitioners for Travellers From New Zealand. N Z Med J. 1999 May 14;112(1087):158-61. PubMed PMID: 10378811.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Health advice given by general practitioners for travellers from New Zealand. AU - Leggat,P A, AU - Heydon,J L, AU - Menon,A, PY - 1999/6/23/pubmed PY - 2000/3/4/medline PY - 1999/6/23/entrez SP - 158 EP - 61 JF - The New Zealand medical journal JO - N Z Med J VL - 112 IS - 1087 N2 - AIMS: To investigate where general practitioners (GP's) in New Zealand view travel health advice best given and where they refer for this advice, the prevalence of travel health advice reported to be given, and the prevalence of written advice, including a doctor's letter. METHOD: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study, using self-report questionnaires, sent to 400 GPs randomly selected from the register of the New Zealand Medical Council. RESULTS: Three hundred and thirty-two GPs (83%) responded. Most GPs reported that they saw travel medicine as best practised in general practice (241/308, 78%) or in a combination of locations, usually including general practice (28/308, 9%). Most GPs (223/308, 72%) did not refer travellers for travel health advice. Health advice concerning malaria (310/310, 100%), immunisation (309/310, 100%), travellers' diarrhoea (296/305, 97%), insect avoidance (287/ 299, 96%), sexually transmitted diseases/human immunodeficiency virus (233/283, 82%), water purification (235/293, 80%) and other areas (35/75, 47%) was given. Written advice was usually given by 23% of GPs (69/302). Written advice was significantly more likely to be provided by those GPs with an interest in travel medicine (chi2=5.67, df=1, p<0.005), experience in tropical medicine/developing countries (chi2=6.69, df=1, p<0.001), a policy on travel medicine (chi2=21.4, df=1, p<0.001), a written policy on travel medicine (chi2=302.0, df=1, p<0.001), who saw a higher number of travellers per week (t=-2.51, df=296, p<0.05) and who saw a significantly higher proportion of patients who were travellers (t=-3.27, df=-295, p=0.001). Almost all GPs (303/310, 98%) reported giving their travelling patients a doctor's letter at least sometimes but only 7% (23/310) always gave travellers a doctor's letter. GPs with training in travel medicine/related area were significantly more likely to provide travellers with a doctor's letter (chi=11.61, df=3, p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This study confirmed that GPs in New Zealand see travel health advice as best given in general practice. Travel health advice, as recommended by New Zealand guidelines, should continue to be given. With limited time in general practice to advise travellers, GPs should also consider giving written advice, including a doctor's letter, more often. Epidemiological and specialist support by public health units and commercial groups, continuing medical education and training in travel medicine for GPs are among the major considerations. Further studies are needed concerning the adequacy and currency of destination-specific advice for travellers. SN - 0028-8446 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/10378811/Health_advice_given_by_general_practitioners_for_travellers_from_New_Zealand_ L2 - http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite?page=kb-03-01-08 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -