Knowledge of otic barotrauma among air travelers in Sialkot, Pakistan

  • Muhammad Saeed Razi Assistant Professor, Department of ENT, Sialkot Medical College, Sialkot, Pakistan
  • Saleh Muhammad Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Sialkot Medical College, Sialkot, Pakistan
  • Asif Javed Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, M. Islam Medical College, Gujranwala, Pakistan
  • Javaid Riaz Qureshi Assistant Professor, Department of ENT, Khawaja M Safdar Medical College, Sialkot, Pakistan
  • Miss Mahnoor Final year MBBS student, Federal Medical and Dental College, Islamabad Pakistan
  • Mujahid Hussain Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, FG Degree College (M), Kharian Cantt., Pakistan
Keywords: Air travel agents, International air travelers, Otic barotrauma, Pakistan


Background: Otic barotrauma (OBT) is defined as traumatic inflammation in human middle ear that occurs at the time of avian drop. However, it can be avoided using its adequate knowledge. The objective of present study was to evaluate the knowledge of the trauma among air travelers in Sialkot city of Punjab, Pakistan.

Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study enlisted male adult International air travelers (n=50) from Sialkot city, Pakistan between November 2018 and April 2019 using purposive sampling technique. A specially developed questionnaire (Cronbach’s alpha = .82) having 12 close-ended items on barotrauma (total possible score 12) was administered to the participants at their home. Level of knowledge was categorized as inadequate (score 0-6), moderate (7-9) and adequate (10-12). Pearson’s chi-squared test was used to see the association between adequate knowledge on the OBT and sociodemographic variables using a P-value < .05 as statistically significant.

Results: Mean age of the participants was 47.60±9.9 years. Most of them (n=36; 72%) travelled for work reason. Almost all i.e. 46 (92%) gave correct response against item 1 (information provider about air trauma) and 12 (treatment of otic barotrauma) of the administered questionnaire. The rate of adequate knowledge on OBT was found to be higher among those having more than two-time travelling experience (82.9%, P = .02). However, there was no significant difference in knowledge of the barotrauma between people having less than or more than 12 years of science education (P = .59). All the business tourists (n = 5) had adequate knowledge of barotrauma followed by jobbers (n=25) and pilgrims (n=3), respectively.

Conclusions: Business tourists have adequate knowledge on otic barotrauma associated with air travel than jobbers or Hajj/Umrah pilgrims.

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