Recent years have seen unprecedented growth in international travel. Travellers are at high risk for acquiring infections while abroad and potentially bringing these infections back to their home country. There are many ways to mitigate this risk by seeking pre-travel advice (PTA), including receiving recommended vaccinations and chemoprophylaxis, however many travellers do not seek or adhere to PTA. We conducted a systematic review to further understand PTA-seeking behaviour with an ultimate aim to implement interventions that improve adherence to PTA and reduce morbidity and mortality in travellers.
We conducted a systematic review of published medical literature selecting studies that examined reasons for not seeking PTA and non-adherence to PTA over the last ten years. 4484 articles were screened of which 56 studies met our search criteria after full text review.
The major reason for not seeking or non-adherence to PTA was perceived low risk of infection while travelling. Side effects played a significant role for lack of adherence specific to malaria prophylaxis.
These data may help clinicians and public health providers to better understand reasons for non-adherence to PTA and target interventions to improve travellers understanding of potential and modifiable risks. Additionally, we discuss specific recommendations to increase public health education that may enable travellers to seek PTA.