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Review

Social Determinants of Rural Health Workforce Retention: A Scoping Review

1
Department of Rural Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Docker St Wangaratta, 3677 Victoria, Australia
2
School of Public Health and Social Work, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove campus, Brisbane, 4059 Queensland, Australia
3
School of Social Work, Faculty of Health and Social Development, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus, Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030314
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Health Care)
Residents of rural and remote Australia have poorer health outcomes than their metropolitan counterparts. A major contributor to these health disparities is chronic and severe health workforce shortages outside of metropolitan areas—a global phenomenon. Despite emerging recognition of the important influence of place-based social processes on retention, much of the political attention and research is directed elsewhere. A structured scoping review was undertaken to describe the range of research addressing the influence of place-based social processes on turnover or retention of rural health professionals, to identify current gaps in the literature, and to formulate a guide for future rural health workforce retention research. A systematic search of the literature was performed. In total, 21 articles were included, and a thematic analysis was undertaken. The themes identified were (1) rural familiarity and/or interest, (2) social connection and place integration, (3) community participation and satisfaction, and (4) fulfillment of life aspirations. Findings suggest place-based social processes affect and influence the retention of rural health workforces. However, these processes are not well understood. Thus, research is urgently needed to build robust understandings of the social determinants of rural workforce retention. It is contended that future research needs to identify which place-based social processes are amenable to change. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural health; workforce; retention; turnover; allied health; nursing; medical professionals; social processes; rural place; scoping review rural health; workforce; retention; turnover; allied health; nursing; medical professionals; social processes; rural place; scoping review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cosgrave, C.; Malatzky, C.; Gillespie, J. Social Determinants of Rural Health Workforce Retention: A Scoping Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 314. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030314

AMA Style

Cosgrave C, Malatzky C, Gillespie J. Social Determinants of Rural Health Workforce Retention: A Scoping Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(3):314. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030314

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cosgrave, Catherine, Christina Malatzky, and Judy Gillespie. 2019. "Social Determinants of Rural Health Workforce Retention: A Scoping Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 3: 314. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030314

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