Barriers to international travel in inflammatory bowel disease patients

Kristina Aluzaite, Kay Greveson, Shomron Ben-Horin, Rupert Leong, Ola Haj, Michael Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease poses substantial challenges to travel. We aimed to investigate inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)-associated challenges to travel, information-seeking behaviour and associated factors. METHODS: We collected data on patients' demographics, disease characteristics, travel barriers, information-seeking behaviour and travel outcomes in UK, Australia, New Zealand and Israel (2016-2018). Summary statistics were used to describe the sample, whereas multivariate binary and nominal logistic regression were used to model the outcome variables. RESULTS: Almost 75.4% (1878/2491) participants' data were analysed with 71.14%, 15.4%, 11.2% and 2.1% from UK, Australia, NZ and Israel, respectively (76.3% females, 48.2% 30-49 years old 58.8% Crohn's disease). About 7.7% of study participants sought medical advice/were hospitalised while overseas. About 43.8% cancelled/changed their plans due to IBD. The most common barriers were worry about toilet facilities (76.3%), cleanliness/sanitation (50.9%) and availability of medical care (41.1%). Only 60.5% sought travel advice; the most popular information source was IBD doctor/nurse (32.6%). Almost 32.6% of study participants did not get travel insurance that covered their IBD. Those who did not receive advice or found obtaining travel insurance difficult, were less likely to obtain travel insurance (P < 0.001). Participants who travelled for work were more likely to be hospitalised/seek medical advice overseas and not obtain travel insurance. CONCLUSIONS: We report a detailed investigation on the IBD-associated barriers while travelling abroad, common information-seeking behaviours and factors associated with worse outcomes. Importantly, patients from all the surveyed countries provided similar travel barrier and preparation habits, highlighting the consistent nature of the challenge.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Jan 2021


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • quality of life
  • travel


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