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J Travel Med. 2006 Sep-Oct;13(5):255-60.

Long- and short-haul travel by air: issues for people with diabetes on insulin.

Author information

1
Grampian Diabetes Centre, Old Infirmary Buildings, Woolmanhill Hospital, Woolmanhill, Aberdeen, UK. jburnett@doctors.org.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine what problems are experienced by people with diabetes mellitus traveling abroad using insulin, whether appropriate and consistent advice is available to them, and if necessary, how this advice could be improved or enhanced.

DESIGN:

Census study by self-administered questionnaire of patients with diabetes who use insulin attending an outpatient clinic.

SETTING:

Grampian Diabetes Centre, Woolmanhill Hospital, Aberdeen.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 493 patients using insulin who attended the clinic in Aberdeen over a period of 3 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Determination of number of patients experiencing problems during travel, of number of patients seeking advice prior to travel and whether it was helpful, and of where respondents would like to access advice.

RESULTS:

About 10% of respondents experienced problems while traveling, mostly due to hypoglycemia. Most patients want more advice to be available at the clinic. Long-haul travelers were more likely to ask clinic staff for advice and were more willing to use a clinic Web site (70%) to access information about travel than those traveling shorter distances (54%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Patient education may help to reduce the incidence of problems related to travel in those with diabetes mellitus. More than 95% of patients were happy with the advice relating to travel health at the clinic but would like more to be available. It would be useful to improve the consistency of advice within the clinic, and this advice should be readily accessible by all, including fellow healthcare professionals such as General Practitioners (GPs), practice nurses, and travel clinic staff.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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