Health working conditions and environment: conceptual model for remote and rural areas

Antonietti et al.

This report proposes a conceptual model on workplace environment and working conditions that integrates the available evidence to facilitate the design and evaluation of interventions aimed at improving the attraction, recruitment and retention of health personnel at the first level of care in rural and remote areas. Theoretical, empirical and testimonial evidence was consulted to support the model, and 15 frameworks disseminated in the last 20 years were synthesized. The article shows the diversity of perspectives and the complexity involved in establishing the dimensions to be considered in a proposal that is useful to apply to human resources for
health policies.
The proposed model includes four categories of components: factors of the external context, organizational factors, employment and work conditions, and individual factors. The boundaries between the components –as well as the weight and influence of each one– vary according to the interrelationship among them and the interaction with the environment, and thus its interpretation must be adapted to the context in which it is intended to be applied. Based on this conceptual model, the design and evaluation of interventions aimed at increasing the availability of health personnel –particularly at the primary care level in rural and remote areas of the Region of the Americas– should emerge from an interaction between health and employment policies, and the realities and
expectations of workers and the communities.

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Special report