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Q J Med. 1994 Jan;87(1):17-22.

Malaria prophylaxis: identifying risk groups for non-compliance.

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Abteilung f├╝r Infektionskrankheiten, Klinikum Rudolf Virchow, Freie Universit├Ąt, Berlin, Germany.


To investigate behaviour in the use of drug prophylaxis against malaria and the risk factors for non-compliance, 507 European or North American travelers returning from endemic areas were studied retrospectively at Berlin in a 11-year period from 1980 to 1990. Compliance was significantly correlated with shorter travel duration: the group with good compliance stayed 37.2 +/- 38.5 days (mean +/- SD) in contrast to 69.8 +/- 93.5 days in the group of patients with no compliance (p = 0.00001). Older patients were significantly more compliant than patients aged < 55 years (20/27 compliant at > 54 years vs. 175/476 at < 55 years; p = 0.0001). Compliance was significantly affected by travel destination (Southern and East African regions; p = 0.0054), age (< or = 15 and > or = 55 years, respectively; p = 0.0001), and reason of travel (package tours; p = 0.0001). CART analysis confirmed logistic regression analysis with respect to age and travel type, and revealed that patients using only one information source were significantly more compliant than those using two or more information sources. Travel agencies were nearly as well informed as Institutes of Tropical Medicine, but family doctors had a significant incidence of giving wrong advice. This study should enable medical personnel dealing with prophylactic advice against malaria to identify patients at high risk for non-compliance, and to educate them more carefully than other travellers regarding antimalarial drug prophylaxis.

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