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Risk assessment in travel medicine: How to obtain, interpret, and use risk data for informing pre-travel advice


Leder, Karin; Steffen, Robert; Cramer, Jakob P; Greenaway, Christina (2015). Risk assessment in travel medicine: How to obtain, interpret, and use risk data for informing pre-travel advice. Journal of Travel Medicine, 22(1):13-20.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: It has been recommended that numerical risk data should be provided during the pre-travel consultation in order for travelers to make informed decisions regarding uptake of preventive interventions.
METHODS: In this article, we review the definitions of the various risk measures, particularly as they relate to travel health, and discuss the study designs and methodological details required to obtain each measure.
RESULTS: Risk measures can be broadly divided into absolute risk measures (including incidence rate, attack rate, and incidence density) and risk factor measures (including relative risk, risk ratio, and odds ratio). Although there are limitations inherent to each measure, absolute risk measures estimate the baseline risk for an “average” traveler, and risk factor measures help determine whether the risks for an individual traveler are likely to be higher or lower than this average, which is determined by specific traveler and itinerary characteristics. Incremental risk considerations add additional complexity, and risk communication plus risk perception/risk tolerance have additional impact on the individual traveler's interpretation of risk measures.
CONCLUSIONS: Travel health practitioners should be aware of the complexities, limitations, and difficulties in understanding numerical risk data, as these factors are important in travelers' acceptance or rejection of interventions offered.

BACKGROUND: It has been recommended that numerical risk data should be provided during the pre-travel consultation in order for travelers to make informed decisions regarding uptake of preventive interventions.
METHODS: In this article, we review the definitions of the various risk measures, particularly as they relate to travel health, and discuss the study designs and methodological details required to obtain each measure.
RESULTS: Risk measures can be broadly divided into absolute risk measures (including incidence rate, attack rate, and incidence density) and risk factor measures (including relative risk, risk ratio, and odds ratio). Although there are limitations inherent to each measure, absolute risk measures estimate the baseline risk for an “average” traveler, and risk factor measures help determine whether the risks for an individual traveler are likely to be higher or lower than this average, which is determined by specific traveler and itinerary characteristics. Incremental risk considerations add additional complexity, and risk communication plus risk perception/risk tolerance have additional impact on the individual traveler's interpretation of risk measures.
CONCLUSIONS: Travel health practitioners should be aware of the complexities, limitations, and difficulties in understanding numerical risk data, as these factors are important in travelers' acceptance or rejection of interventions offered.

Citations

6 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:14 Jan 2015 09:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:50
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1195-1982
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jtm.12170
PubMed ID:25378126
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-105192

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