Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Fam Physician. 2009 Sep 15;80(6):583-90.

The pretravel consultation.

Author information

  • 1The Robert Graham Center, Washington, DC 20036, USA.


The increase in travel and travel medicine knowledge over the past 30 years makes pretravel counseling an essential part of comprehensive family medicine. Effective counseling begins with assessment of individual and itinerary-based risks, using a growing body of evidence-based decision-support tools and resources. Counseling recommendations should be tailored to the patient's risk tolerance and experience. An essential component of the pretravel consultation includes reviewing routine and destination-specific immunizations. In addition to implementing behavioral adaptations, travelers can guard against vectorborne disease by using N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET, 30%), a safe and effective insect repellent. Patients should also receive malarial chemoprophylaxis when traveling to areas of risk. Proper precautions can reduce the risk of food- and waterborne disease. Travelers should take appropriate precautions when traveling to high altitudes. Strategies for minimizing the risk of deep venous thrombosis during air travel include keeping mobile and wearing compression stockings. Accident avoidance and coping strategies for health problems that occur while abroad are also important components of the pretravel consultation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Academy of Family Physicians
    Loading ...
    Support Center