International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1196–1204 | Cite as

Pharmaceutical care model to assess the medication-related risks of travel

  • Ian M. HeslopEmail author
  • Michelle Bellingan
  • Richard Speare
  • Beverley D. Glass
Research Article


Background People are at greater risk of health problems when travelling and a significant number of travel-related health problems are associated with the effects of travel on pre-existing chronic diseases. Medications play a key role in the management of these conditions. However, there is a notable lack of research evaluating the potential medication-related risks associated with travel. Objective To apply a systematic pharmaceutical care model developed to evaluate potential pharmaceutical risks (PPRs) and pharmaceutical care issues (PCIs) in travellers. Setting Adult travellers leaving Cairns International Airport, Australia, for an international destination. Method A cross-sectional survey using semi-structured interviews, including a systematic medication history, followed by the application of a pharmaceutical care model to evaluate each participant for PPRs and PCIs. Main outcome measure Evaluation of standard clinical and travel-related PPRs and PCIs. Results Medications for chronic diseases were being taken by 47.7 % of the 218 travellers interviewed. Although 75.2 % of participants presented with no PPRs, a total of 274 PCIs were identified across 61.5 % of the participants, with an average of 2.04 PCIs per participant. The most prevalent PCIs related to the inadequate precautions taken by some travellers visiting malaria-endemic regions. Although 91 participants recognised that they were travelling to malaria-endemic regions, 65.9 % of these participants were not using malarial chemoprophylaxis, and only 16.5 % were using chemoprophylaxis that fully complied with standard recommendations. The second most prevalent PCI was the need for 18.8 % of participants to be educated about their medications. Other PCIs identified have the potential to increase the risk of acute, travel-related conditions, and complicate the care of travellers, if they inadvertently became unwell while overseas. Conclusion PPRs and PCIs were not identified in all participants. However, the impact of many of the identified medication-related issues could be substantial to the traveller. This study represents the novel application of a pharmaceutical care model to identify potential PPRs and PCIs in travellers that may not be identified by other pre-travel risk assessment methods.


Australia Chronic disease Medication-related risks Pharmaceutical care issues (PCIs) Potential pharmaceutical risks (PPRs) Travel health 



The authors wish to acknowledge Cairns Port Authority for approval to perform the interviews at Cairns International Airport.


This study was funded by internal funds from Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian M. Heslop
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michelle Bellingan
    • 1
  • Richard Speare
    • 2
  • Beverley D. Glass
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmacy (Building 47), College of Medicine and DentistryJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Public Health and Tropical Medicine, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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