Improving the uptake of pre-travel health advice amongst migrant Australians: exploring the attitudes of primary care providers and migrant community groups
Background: Migrant travellers who return to their country of origin to visit family and friends (VFR) are less likely to seek travel-related medical care and are less likely to adhere to recommended medications and travel precautions. Through this study, we aimed to get an understanding of the views of stakeholders from community migrant centres and primary care providers on barriers for migrants, particularly from non-English speaking backgrounds, in accessing travel health advice and the strategies that could be used to engage them. Methods: A qualitative study involving 20 semi-structured interviews was undertaken in Sydney, Australia between January 2013 and September 2014. Thematic analysis was undertaken. Results: Language barriers, a lower perceived risk of travel-related infections and the financial costs of seeking pre-travel health care were nominated as being the key barriers impacting on the uptake of pre-travel health advice and precautions. To overcome pre-existing language barriers, participants advocated for the use of bilingual community educators, community radio, ethnic newspapers and posters in the dissemination of pre-travel health information. Conclusions: Travel is a major vector of importation of infectious diseases into Australia, and VFR travellers are at high risk of infection. Collaboration between the Government, primary care physicians, migrant community groups and migrants themselves is crucial if we are to be successful in reducing travel-related risks among this subgroup of travellers.
Seale, H., Kaur, R., Mahimbo, A., Macintyre, C. Raina., Zwar, N., Smith, M., Worth, H. & Heywood, A. E. (2016). Improving the uptake of pre-travel health advice amongst migrant Australians: exploring the attitudes of primary care providers and migrant community groups. BMC Infectious Diseases, 16 (1), 213-1-213-7.