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Article

Context Matters: Findings from a Qualitative Study Exploring Service and Place Factors Influencing the Recruitment and Retention of Allied Health Professionals in Rural Australian Public Health Services

Department of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Docker St, Wangaratta, VIC 3677, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165815
Received: 22 July 2020 / Revised: 5 August 2020 / Accepted: 5 August 2020 / Published: 11 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future Health Workforce: Integrated Solutions and Models of Care)
Chronic health workforce shortages significantly contribute to unmet health care needs in rural and remote communities. Of particular and growing concern are shortages of allied health professionals (AHPs). This study explored the contextual factors impacting the recruitment and retention of AHPs in rural Australia. A qualitative approach using a constructivist-interpretivist methodology was taken. Semi-structured interviews (n = 74) with executive staff, allied health (AH) managers and newly recruited AHPs working in two rural public health services in Victoria, Australia were conducted. Data was coded and categorised inductively and analysed thematically. The findings suggest that to support a stable and sustainable AH workforce, rural public sector health services need to be more efficient, strategic and visionary. This means ensuring that policies and procedures are equitable and accessible, processes are effective, and action is taken to develop local programs, opportunities and supports that allow AH staff to thrive and grow in place at all grade levels and life stages. This study reinforces the need for a whole-of-community approach to effectively support individual AH workers and their family members in adjusting to a new place and developing a sense of belonging in place. The recommendations arising from this study are likely to have utility for other high-income countries, particularly in guiding AH recruitment and retention strategies in rural public sector health services. Recommendations relating to community/place will likely benefit broader rural health workforce initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural health workforce; allied health; local context; recruitment; retention; turnover; Australia rural health workforce; allied health; local context; recruitment; retention; turnover; Australia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cosgrave, C. Context Matters: Findings from a Qualitative Study Exploring Service and Place Factors Influencing the Recruitment and Retention of Allied Health Professionals in Rural Australian Public Health Services. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5815. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165815

AMA Style

Cosgrave C. Context Matters: Findings from a Qualitative Study Exploring Service and Place Factors Influencing the Recruitment and Retention of Allied Health Professionals in Rural Australian Public Health Services. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(16):5815. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165815

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cosgrave, Catherine. 2020. "Context Matters: Findings from a Qualitative Study Exploring Service and Place Factors Influencing the Recruitment and Retention of Allied Health Professionals in Rural Australian Public Health Services" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 16: 5815. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165815

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