Public health nutrition workforce development in seven European countries: constraining and enabling factors.
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CitationPublic Health Nutr 2012, 15(11):1989-98
AbstractLittle is known about current public health nutrition workforce development in Europe. The present study aimed to understand constraining and enabling factors to workforce development in seven European countries. A qualitative study comprised of semi-structured face-to-face interviews was conducted and content analysis was used to analyse the transcribed interview data. The study was carried out in Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Sixty key informants participated in the study. There are constraining and enabling factors for public health nutrition workforce development. The main constraining factors relate to the lack of a supportive policy environment, fragmented organizational structures and a workforce that is not cohesive enough to implement public health nutrition strategic initiatives. Enabling factors were identified as the presence of skilled and dedicated individuals who assume roles as leaders and change agents. There is a need to strengthen coordination between policy and implementation of programmes which may operate across the national to local spectrum. Public health organizations are advised to further define aims and objectives relevant to public health nutrition. Leaders and agents of change will play important roles in fostering intersectorial partnerships, advocating for policy change, establishing professional competencies and developing education and training programmes.
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