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Fear of flying, reviewed: An example of evidence-based old age psychiatry

  • Gianetta Rands (a1)
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‘Doctor, would it be alright to take mum to Cyprus for a family wedding?’ In a cosmopolitan city such as London hardly a month goes by without hearing a similar sort of query. If ‘mum’ has dementia I tend to advise the family against flying. This advice is based on anecdotal observations from past clinical practice. I have witnessed a number of patients experience significant deterioration in cognition following flying. While disorientation in unfamiliar environments may explain some of the difficulties in travelling for a person with dementia, as illustrated by John Bayley in Iris (1998), this may not be the only explanation. On this occasion, I decided to use evidence-based practice to review the situation.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Bayley, J. (1998) Iris. A Memoir of Iris Murdoch. London: Duckworth.
Ernsting, J., Nicholson, A. N. & Rainford, D. J. (1999) Aviation Medicine (3rd edn). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Giangrande, P. L. F. (1999) Aircare Worldwide – Thrombosis and Air Travel. Oxford: Aviation Health Institute.
Jauhur, P. & Weller, M. P. I. (1982) Psychiatric morbidity and time zone changes: a study of patients from HeathrowAirport. British Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 231235.
Khan, F. S. (1993) Airwise, the Essential Guide for Frequent Fliers. C. W. Daniel CoLtd: Saffron Walden.
White, A & Allen, S. (1992) How to ensure happy landings for elderly travellers. Geriatric Medicine, March, 2324.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Fear of flying, reviewed: An example of evidence-based old age psychiatry

  • Gianetta Rands (a1)
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