Pediatric travel consultation in an integrated clinic

John C. Christenson, Philip R. Fischer, Devon C. Hale, Debbie Derrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Background: In May 1997, a pediatric travel service was created within a larger integrated University-County Health Department international travel clinic. The purpose of the service was to further enhance the travel advice and care provided to children and their parents or guardians. The current study was designed to describe the care of children in this setting and to compare the care of children seen in the Pediatric Travel Service with that of children seen by other providers. Methods: All pediatric patients (defined as individuals ≤ 18 years of age) receiving care in the travel clinic were considered candidates for inclusion in the analysis. Patients seen by the Pediatric Travel Service were compared to those seen by other staff members in the travel clinic (referred to as Regular Clinic).The following information was noted: basic demographic data, medical history including allergies, prior immunization records, intended place and duration of travel, and immunizations and medications prescribed at the time of visit. Travel advice covering water and food precautions, preventive measures against insect bites, injury prevention, malaria prevention, prevention of parasitic infections, and environmental-related problems was provided to all patients in both groups when necessary. Results: Between May 1997 and December 1999, 287 pediatric age individuals were given pretravel care by the Pediatric Travel Service (median age, 6 years; range, 1 month-18 years). During the same time period, 722 pediatric age travelers (median age, 14 years; range, 8 months-18 years) were evaluated in the Regular Clinic by other staff members. Travel destinations most commonly traveled by both groups in descending order were: Africa, Central America and Mexico, South America, and Southeast Asia. When compared to travelers seen in the Regular Clinic, individuals in the Pediatric Travel Service group were more likely to travel for humanitarian work, and for parental work relocation. Persons in the Regular Clinic were more likely to travel to Mexico and Central America. They were also more likely to travel on vacation and for missionary work or study. Hepatitis B and tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccinations were given more frequently to travelers seen in the Regular Clinic. Also, ciprofloxacin and antimotility agents were more commonly prescribed in this group. No differences were noted in the duration of travel or in the time interval between clinic visit and departure. Conclusions: While general travel advice was considered to be similar in both clinic groups, some differences were observed in the frequency of administration of certain vaccines and prescriptions of medications. These differences were likely due to a difference in age in the two study groups. The high volume and success of the clinic suggest that integrated pediatric and adult travel services in a coordinated setting can be effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 10 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Christenson, J. C., Fischer, P. R., Hale, D. C., & Derrick, D. (2001). Pediatric travel consultation in an integrated clinic. Journal of Travel Medicine, 8(1), 1-5.