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IBD Passport: Evidence-based online resource to support travel with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Kay Greveson, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nurse Specialist, Centre for Gastroenterology, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Kay's case study was completed in June 2016 and reflects 2016 prices

Travellers with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at greater risk of travel-related morbidity. Research has found between 15-20% incidence of travel-related illness in IBD, and 27% of patients are incorrectly given live vaccinations prior to travel while receiving immunomodulator therapy. This is potentially life-threatening as the patient could contract the infection that they are being vaccinated against, therefore impacting on NHS services by increasing hospital visits for specialist consultations and possible inpatient admission in the event of post-vaccination complications.

Travel insurance in the UK covers many aspects of travel, but there are often caveats for chronic disease, particularly if the traveller is under regular specialist follow-up. Obtaining adequate insurance can often be difficult and incur additional premiums, but travelling without adequate cover carries the risk significant personal medical costs.

As a result of these findings, Kay Greveson, IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist at Royal Free Hospital in London, developed an IBD Passport; a dedicated, evidence-based, non-profit IBD travel advice website to enhance informed, safe travel. She undertook an economic assessment to show the potential impact and value of the website for patient and healthcare professional users.

Kay conducted an online user feedback survey, which was sent to 415 registered IBD patient website users. The results demonstrate that the IBD passport has the potential to improve knowledge of travel-related issues in IBD, including awareness and increased uptake of vaccinations, travel insurance and seeking expert advice prior to travel.

Assigning monetary value to the passport proved challenging due to the many variables that exists with the traveler, and more so when chronic disease is added. The economic benefits of such a resource reflects the likelihood of preventing or reducing the risk of an illness, and incorporates all the expenses of a travel-related illness.

You can contact Kay by email:

Case study
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