A descriptive study of advising practices during travel health consultations in France

Abstract : Recommendations for improving traveler adherence address both the content of the advice given and the structure of the consultation. The objective of this article is to describe how travel health consultations are structured in France. Methods: A questionnaire based on both theoretical foundations and recommendations in the literature was sent to health professionals who practice in travel clinics, all of them members of France's Société de Médecine des Voyages. Results: The response rate was 78.5% (176/224). One hundred thirty nine respondents (78.9%) reported that treatment (vaccinations, in particular) and advising were done at separate times in the consultation. The majority of respondents questioned the traveler on his wishes, difficulties, expectations, experiences, and previous knowledge. A third explored the traveler's perceptions regarding the seriousness of diseases, the effectiveness of prevention measures and the latter's adverse effects with a difference when health professionals were practicing >5 years and/or had received specific training ( P  < 0.05). At the end of the consultation, 92% of the respondents asked the traveler whether he understood the advice given. One hundred thirty seven respondents (77.8%) gave travelers a booklet with additional advice, and 66.5% gave them a website where they could find health advice on their destination. Travelers were almost never offered group consultations or the opportunity to work on real-life situations. When there were language barriers, the respondents were more likely to seek help from a French-speaking member of the traveler's entourage (48.9%) than from an interpreter (22.7%). Conclusions: While the majority of practitioners follow most of the recommendations regarding the structure of travel health consultations, some of the factors that enhance traveler learning are underutilized, reducing the likelihood that travelers will apply the advice given. The study illustrates the need to develop more educational intervention methods and to evaluate their impact on travelers.
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Claire Marchand, F Merrina, Rémi Gagnayre, Olivier Bouchaud. A descriptive study of advising practices during travel health consultations in France. Journal of Travel Medicine, Wiley-Blackwell, 2017, 24 (5), ⟨https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/24/5/tax042/3954789⟩. ⟨10.1093/jtm/tax042⟩. ⟨hal-01689518⟩

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