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Medical and psychological problems faced by young Australian gap year travellers

Furuya-Kanamori, Luis; Mills, Deborah J; Sheridan, Sarah; Lau, Colleen

Description

Background: Gap year travellers can potentially be exposed to many infectious diseases and other travel-related health problems including injuries and psychological problems. Currently, there is little information on health and wellbeing of this particular group of travellers. Methods: Participants were recruited from an organization that specialized in organising international gap year placements. Gap year travellers were asked to complete a pre-departure survey on demographics, placement...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorFuruya-Kanamori, Luis
dc.contributor.authorMills, Deborah J
dc.contributor.authorSheridan, Sarah
dc.contributor.authorLau, Colleen
dc.date.accessioned2021-08-06T01:49:40Z
dc.identifier.issn1195-1982
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/243243
dc.description.abstractBackground: Gap year travellers can potentially be exposed to many infectious diseases and other travel-related health problems including injuries and psychological problems. Currently, there is little information on health and wellbeing of this particular group of travellers. Methods: Participants were recruited from an organization that specialized in organising international gap year placements. Gap year travellers were asked to complete a pre-departure survey on demographics, placement destination and duration, previous travel experience, hobbies, risk taking behaviour, anticipated problems during the placement, and pre-travel preparations. After the placement, participants were asked to complete a post-trip survey on their experiences, problems, health issues, and medical treatment required. Results: The 88 and 34 gap year travellers aged 17–23 years completed pre- and post-placement surveys respectively. The duration of placements ranged from 3 to 12 months. Psychological stressors were frequently reported [n = 26 (76.5%) felt home sick; n = 18 (52.9%) experienced culture shock; n = 17 (50.0%) had difficulty communicating with the locals]. The majority of participants (91.2%) tried to work out a solution for the stressor on their own. Twenty-eight (82.4%) participants reported medical problems during their placement; the most common problems were sunburn (n = 19; 55.9%), respiratory infections (n = 15; 44.1%), weight change (n = 14; 41.2%), and diarrhoea/food poisoning (n = 13; 38.2%). Three participants (3.4%) were admitted to hospital; for a muscle injury, head injury and skin infection after getting a tribal tattoo. Conclusions: Psychological stressors were common, but most did not seek help. Some medical problems encountered during their placement may have been preventable with improved pre-departure preparation.
dc.description.sponsorshipC.L. was funded by an National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship (1109035).
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherB.C. Decker Inc.
dc.rights© International Society of Travel Medicine, 2017. Published by Oxford University Press
dc.sourceJournal of Travel Medicine
dc.subjectGap year
dc.subjectpre-departure
dc.subjectpreparation
dc.titleMedical and psychological problems faced by young Australian gap year travellers
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume24
dc.date.issued2017
local.identifier.absfor111700 - PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES
local.identifier.absfor111706 - Epidemiology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu5684624xPUB209
local.publisher.urlhttp://jtm.oxfordjournals.org/
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationFuruya-Kanamori, Luis, Qatar University
local.contributor.affiliationMills , Deborah J, Travel Medicine Alliance Clinics, Australia
local.contributor.affiliationSheridan, Sarah, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLau, Colleen, College of Health and Medicine, ANU
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1109035
local.bibliographicCitation.issue5
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage5
local.identifier.doi10.1093/jtm/tax052
dc.date.updated2020-11-23T10:48:40Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85040714807
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenancehttps://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/3664..."The Accepted Version can be archived in a Non-Commercial Institutional Repository" from SHERPA/RoMEO site (as at 10/08/2021). This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in [Furuya-Kanamori, Luis, et al. "Medical and psychological problems faced by young Australian gap year travellers." Journal of travel medicine 24.5 (2017): tax052.] following peer review. The version of record [insert complete citation information here] is available online at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jtm/tax052.
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