A survey of the health experiences of international business travelers. Part One--Physiological aspects.AAOHN J. 2002 Oct; 50(10):449-59.AJ
Occupational health professionals need to know more about the health, worklife, and family life of international business travelers (IBTs). This descriptive correlational study, in two parts, examines the physiological and psychosocial experiences associated with business travel for a sample of 140 employees from western Canada's oil and gas industry. Results for Part One show that 76% of IBTs report travel related health problems, 74% have jet lag, 45% have travelers' diarrhea and gastrointestinal complaints, 12% to 16% have climate adaptation problems, and 2% report accidents and minor injuries. High risk behaviors include not carrying a first aid travel kit (54%); drinking more alcohol than ordinarily (21%); and neglecting food, water, and antimalarial precautions (6% to 14%). Other risk factors include age, length of stay, destination, pre-travel medical examinations, pre-travel advice, and eating and accommodation facilities. Findings show that IBTs are at risk for travel related physiological health problems. Implications for practitioners call for increased occupational health expertise in pre-travel preparation, follow up post-travel and regular health surveillance for employees who travel on international business.