Date of this Version

7-16-2012

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Jonsdottir, S., Thorsdottir, I., Kugelberg, S., Yngve, A., Kennedy, N.P., & Hughes, R. (2012). Core functions for the public health nutrition workforce in Europe: A consensus study. Public Health Nutrition, 15(11), 1999-2004

Access the journal

2012 HERDC submission. FoR codes: 111104; 111712; 130209

© Copyright The Authors, 2012

ISSN

1475-2727

Abstract

Objective: To assess and develop a consensus among a European panel of public health nutrition workforce stakeholders (academics and employers) regarding core functions required for effective public health nutrition practice.

Design: A modified Delphi study involving data from two rounds of questionnaires administered among a panel of public health nutrition workforce stakeholders. Setting: Europe.

Subjects: A panel of fifty-three public health nutrition development stakeholders, including thirty-three academics and twenty employers, sampled from eighteen European countries.

Results: Panellists rated 50% (19/38) of the initially listed functions as core (i.e. without which public health capacity is limited), using a majority cut-off (.50 %). Out of the nineteen core functions seven were categorised under the heading Intervention management, emphasising high agreement on the importance of managing interventions in public health nutrition work. Only one of the identified core public health nutrition functions was rated differently between academics and employers, suggesting consistent identification of core functions between stakeholder groups.

Conclusions: This consensus on core functions of the public health nutrition workforce in Europe can be used to promote a consistent understanding of the role and value of public health nutritionists as a discrete disciplinary sub-specialty of the public health workforce. The convergence of opinions of academics and employers, as well as comparison with previous international studies, indicates that there is a set of core public health nutrition functions transferable between countries that can be used as a benchmark to guide further development of the public health nutrition workforce in Europe.

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