Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The health and health preparation of long-term Australian travellers

Elizabeth Halcomb A B , Moira Stephens A , Elizabeth Smyth A , Shahla Meedya A and Sarah Tillott A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Nursing, Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: ehalcomb@uow.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 23(4) 386-390 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY16138
Submitted: 24 October 2016  Accepted: 1 March 2017   Published: 8 June 2017

Abstract

A growing number of Australians are travelling domestically for extended periods. This creates challenges in both continuity of health care and burdens on health services. This paper reports a cross-sectional survey aimed to explore the health needs and health planning of long-term travellers. In total, 316 respondents who had travelled for more than 3 months consecutively in the last year participated. Most respondents were retired (n = 197; 62.3%); however, ages ranged from 26 to 89 years. Nearly half of the respondents or their travel companion had a long-term illness that affected their daily life (n = 135; 42.7%). Nearly half of respondents visited a GP (n = 133; 42.1%), nearly one-quarter visited an Emergency Department (n = 72; 22.8%) and 19.9% (n = 63) visited another health provider while travelling. The level of preparation around health while travelling varied between participants. This study highlights that long-term travellers have significant health needs and are likely to require health services during their extended travel. Additionally, it identifies that currently few strategies are used to plan for health care during travel. This raises issues for rural and remote health services in terms of both capacity and continuity of care.


References

Australian Digital Health Agency (2017) My Health Record. (Australian Government: Canberra, ACT, Australia) Available at https://myhealthrecord.gov.au/internet/mhr/publishing.nsf/content/home [Verified 20 January 2017]

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2014) National Drug Strategy Household Survey detailed report 2013. Drug statistics series number 28. Catalogue number PHE 183. AIHW, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016) Australia’s health. (Australian Government: Canberra, ACT, USA)

Bodenheimer T, Ghorob A, Willard-Grace R, Grumbach K (2014) The 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care. Annals of Family Medicine 12, 166–171.
The 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care.CrossRef |

Davies A (2011) On constructing ageing rural populations: ‘capturing’ the grey nomad. Journal of Rural Studies 27, 191–199.
On constructing ageing rural populations: ‘capturing’ the grey nomad.CrossRef |

Garrety K, McLoughlin I, Dalley A, Wilson R, Yu P (2016) National electronic health record systems as ‘wicked projects’: the Australian experience. Information Polity 21, 367–381.
National electronic health record systems as ‘wicked projects’: the Australian experience.CrossRef |

Hawthorne G, Herrman H, Murphy B (2006) Interpreting the WHOQOL-BREF: preliminary population norms and effect sizes. Social Indicators Research 77, 37–59.
Interpreting the WHOQOL-BREF: preliminary population norms and effect sizes.CrossRef |

Higgs PF, Quirk F (2007) ‘Grey nomads’ in Australia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1114, 251–257.
‘Grey nomads’ in Australia.CrossRef |

Hillman W (2013) Grey nomads travelling in Queensland, Australia: social and health needs. Ageing and Society 33, 579–597.
Grey nomads travelling in Queensland, Australia: social and health needs.CrossRef |

Holloway DJ (2009) ‘Grey Nomads: Retirement, Leisure and Travel in the Australian Context.’ (Edith Cowan University: Joondalup, WA, Australia)

Mahadevan R (2014) Understanding senior self-drive tourism in Australia using a contingency behavior model. Journal of Travel Research 53, 252–259.
Understanding senior self-drive tourism in Australia using a contingency behavior model.CrossRef |

McKenzie R, Williamson M, Roberts R (2016) Who uses the ‘after hours GP helpline’? A profile of users of an after-hours primary care helpline. Australian Family Physician 45, 313–318.

Moffatt JJ, Eley DS (2010) The reported benefits of telehealth for rural Australians. Australian Health Review 34, 276–281.
The reported benefits of telehealth for rural Australians.CrossRef |

National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (2012) Guidelines for the management of absolute cardiovascular disease risk. (National Stroke Foundation) Available at https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/images/uploads/publications/Absolute-CVD-Risk-Full-Guidelines.pdf [Verified 9 April 2017]

Prideaux B, McClymont H (2006) The changing profile of caravanners in Australia. International Journal of Tourism Research 8, 45–58.
The changing profile of caravanners in Australia.CrossRef |

Raven M (2016) Health of grey nomads: on the move and under the health sector radar. The Australian Journal of Rural Health 24, 182–187.
Health of grey nomads: on the move and under the health sector radar.CrossRef |

Robinson K, Ghosh A, Halcomb E (2017) Manufactured home villages in Australia – a melting pot of chronic disease? Australian Journal of Primary Health 23, 97–103.
Manufactured home villages in Australia – a melting pot of chronic disease?CrossRef |

Sheng X, Simpson PM, Siguaw JA (2014) US winter migrants’ park community attributes: an importance–performance analysis. Tourism Management 43, 55–67.
US winter migrants’ park community attributes: an importance–performance analysis.CrossRef |

Skevington SM, Lotfy M, O’Connell KA (2004) The World Health Organization’s WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment: psychometric properties and results of the international field trial. A report from the WHOQOL group. Quality of Life Research 13, 299–310.
The World Health Organization’s WHOQOL-BREF quality of life assessment: psychometric properties and results of the international field trial. A report from the WHOQOL group.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD2c7ovF2itQ%3D%3D&md5=03a9c73bde76ab7684cfeac098eb30e1CAS |

Tate J, Mein J, Freeman H, Maguire G (2006) Grey nomads – health and health preparation of older travellers in remote Australia. Australian Family Physician 35, 70–72.

Tourism Research Australia (2015) ‘State of the Industry 2015.’ (Tourism Research Australia: Canberra, ACT, Australia)

Tourism Western Australia and Tourism Research Australia (2007) ‘Understanding the Caravan Park Industry in WA.’ (Tourism Western Australia: Perth, WA, Australia)

Wagner EH, Austin BT, Davis C, Hindmarsh M, Schaefer J, Bonomi A (2001) Improving chronic illness care: translating evidence into action. Health Affairs 20, 64–78.
Improving chronic illness care: translating evidence into action.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD38%2FovVagug%3D%3D&md5=bbe896187b6457e28d694d6cb3aa76e7CAS |

World Health Organization (1998) ‘WHOQOL User Manual.’ (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland)



Export Citation

View Altmetrics