Pre-travel health care of immigrants returning home to visit friends and relatives

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Child; Child, Preschool; Cohort Studies; Communicable Disease Control; *Delivery of Health Care; Emigrants and Immigrants; Female; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; *Health Planning Guidelines; Humans; Logistic Models; Male; Middle Aged; Multivariate Analysis; *Public Health; Travel; Vaccination; Young Adult


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Research | Preventive Medicine | Public Health


Immigrants returning home to visit friends and relatives (VFR travelers) are at higher risk of travel-associated illness than other international travelers. We evaluated 3,707 VFR and 17,507 non-VFR travelers seen for pre-travel consultation in Global TravEpiNet during 2009-2011; all were traveling to resource-poor destinations. VFR travelers more commonly visited urban destinations than non-VFR travelers (42% versus 30%, P < 0.0001); 54% of VFR travelers were female, and 18% of VFR travelers were under 6 years old. VFR travelers sought health advice closer to their departure than non-VFR travelers (median days before departure was 17 versus 26, P < 0.0001). In multivariable analysis, being a VFR traveler was an independent predictor of declining a recommended vaccine. Missed opportunities for vaccination could be addressed by improving the timing of pre-travel health care and increasing the acceptance of vaccines. Making pre-travel health care available in primary care settings may be one step to this goal.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Feb;88(2):376-80. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.12-0460. Epub 2012 Nov 13. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed