Background: The process of health advice/education affects two groups of people, the health professionals who give the advice and the recipients who are offered this advice. The content of travel health advice has been investigated many times and has often been found to be of varying quality. However, little is known about how much advice clients recall. This study examined the travel health advice-seeking behavior of travelers to Peru, the degree of recall, and the amount of advice remembered.
Method: This descriptive study was based on questionnaires completed by 552 travelers to Peru while in Cusco. Information was collected on travel health-seeking behavior, sources of advice, tourists' degree of recall of information, and advice remembered.
Results: Sixty-two percent (n = 492) claimed to always seek health advice before traveling whereas 96% sought advice only for this specific trip. Most advice was obtained from travel clinics (37.7%), general practitioners (20.2%), or a guidebook (19.6%). Most tourists (60.4%) claimed to recall most of the advice; 23.4%, everything; 15.5%, some; and 0.6%, none (n = 470). The number of items remembered ranges from 0 to 11.
Conclusion: Findings from the study indicated that the usefulness of travel health advice depends on the quality of information given and the recall of this advice. Both aspects need to be considered in order to be certain that the objective of travel health advice is met, which is the informed and safe travel health behavior. Further research is recommended.