Perceived threats to life and limb and the effects of anxiety provoking events on air travellers



Swanson V, McIntosh IB, Hirst M, Kilpatrick I, Gauld JH & Driver CR (2004) Perceived threats to life and limb and the effects of anxiety provoking events on air travellers. British Travel Health Association Journal, 5, pp. 48-52.

Perceptions, concerns and behavioural responses specific to commercial flying after the USA events of September 11th 2001 have been poorly studied, although mass media attention has focused on air terrorism This research investigated the perceived psychological and physiological effects of stress-related events; the September 11th disaster and media scare stories regarding DVT, on the general public in regard to air transportation. An opportunistic questionnaire-based, multi-centre study of peoples' attitudes, worries and coping strategies relating to such issues, 12 months after the disasters, was carried out, with comparative analysis of data for gender and age. 1142 people were asked to participate with 1042 respondents. 95% of participants had travelled by air in the previous five years and 84% in the year after September 2001. Only a third overall reported being still worried by the Sept 11th events, however two thirds of these were moderately or severely worried. Most (89%) stated that they knew the increased risk of DVT was linked to long haul flights. 63% believed that leg vein clots were a health risk on long flights with 66% of those moderately or very worried about this. Immobility and bad seat design were seen as causes by the majority.

British Travel Health Association Journal: Volume 5

Publication date31/12/2004
PublisherBritish Travel Health Association
Publisher URL…hajournal(5).pdf

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Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor, Psychology