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Original article

Vol. 145 No. 2122 (2015)

Travelling activity and travel-related risks after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation – a single centre survey

  • Yvonne Hollenstein
  • Luigia Elzi
  • Christoph Hatz
  • Jakob Passweg
  • Maja Weisser
  • Marcel Stoeckle
  • Joerg Halter
  • Adrian Egli
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2015;145:w14136


BACKGROUND: Travel activity and travel-related risks of patients after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) remain largely unknown. The aim of our study was to examine travel activity after allo-HSCT including travel behaviour and travel patterns.

METHODS: We analysed travel characteristics of allo-HSCT recipients by using a retrospective cross-sectional survey. Allo-HSCT patients were asked to complete a questionnaire during their annual health visits from 2010 to 2012.

RESULTS: Overall, 118/153 (77%) participating patients reported travel activity for a total of 201 travelling episodes. Travellers versus non-travellers were receiving immunosuppressive treatment in 35.6% versus 65.7% (p = 0.002), and had graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) in 52.5% versus 62.9% (p = 0.17). In a multivariate analysis, the time between the transplantation and the survey was the only factor associated with travel activity (p <0.0001) and taking pretravel advice (p <0.0001). In 34.8% of travel episodes pretravel advice was sought. Patients with pretravel advice reported travel-related symptoms more frequently. Minor respiratory (27/201) and gastrointestinal (23/201) symptoms were most frequently indicated. Four percent (8/201) of the patients were hospitalised while travelling.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that travelling after allo-HSCT is frequent and linked to the time since transplantation. We could not define specific risks for any destination. Nevertheless, pretravel advice and preparation are highly recommended for immunosuppressed patients.


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