European Journal of Rheumatology
Original Article

Biological therapy and international travel: A questionnaire survey among Danish patients with rheumatic disease


Department of Reumatology, North Denmark Regional Hospital, Hjoerring, Denmark


Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark


Centre for Clinical Research, North Denmark Regional Hospital, Hjoerring, Denmark

Eur J Rheumatol 2020; 7: 158-163
DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2020.19190
Read: 1869 Downloads: 1074 Published: 07 September 2020

Objective: To describe travel activities, preparations, and health problems encountered by patients with arthritis receiving biological therapy.

Methods: A travel survey was conducted in a Danish rheumatology outpatient clinic by distribution of a semistructured questionnaire to 300 consecutive patients with arthritis.

Results: Among the 273 (91%) patients returning the questionnaire, a history of traveling outside Denmark was reported by 203 (74%) respondents and outside Europe by 92 (34%). In 81% of the patients, travel activities had not decreased after the initiation of biological treatment. However, 24% reported that they had become more cautious regarding the choice of travel destination. Pre-travel advice was sought by less than one-third of the patients, whereas travel insurance was taken out by 86%, but only half of them had disclosed information about the biological treatment. Treatment was discontinued temporarily while traveling in 26% of patients on subcutaneous biologics. The main reason for discontinuation was concern about transport and storage of medicine. Only 6% of the travelers had experienced health problems, which were of only minor importance.

Conclusion: Treatment with biologics seems not to have any major influence on international travel activity among Danish patients with arthritis. Health problems when traveling were of minor importance. However, pre-travel advice issues, including treatment compliance, transport of medicine, and insurance coverage, need to be addressed proactively by the outpatient clinic staff as part of patient consultation.

Cite this article as: Szabados F, Kragh J, Rasmussen C, Leutscher PDC. Biological therapy and international travel: A questionnaire survey among Danish patients with rheumatic disease. Eur J Rheumatol 2020; 7(4): 158-63.

EISSN 2148-4279