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Recruitment and retention of health professionals across Europe: A literature review and multiple case study research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marieke Kroezen, Gilles Dussault, Isabel Craveiro, Marjolein Dieleman, Christel Jansen, James Buchan, Louise Barriball, Anne Marie Rafferty, Jeni Bremner, Walter Sermeus

Original languageEnglish
JournalHEALTH POLICY
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 May 2015

King's Authors

Abstract

Many European countries are faced with health workforce shortages and the need to develop effective recruitment and retention (R&R) strategies. Yet comparative studies on R&R in Europe are scarce. This paper provides an overview of the measures in place to improve the R&R of health professionals across Europe and offers further insight into the evidence base for R&R; the interaction between policy and organisational levels in driving R&R outcomes; the facilitators and barriers throughout these process; and good practices in the R&R of health professionals across Europe. The study adopted a multi-method approach combining an extensive literature review and multiple-case study research. 64 publications were included in the review and 34 R&R interventions from 20 European countries were included in the multiple-case study. We found a consistent lack of evidence about the effectiveness of R&R interventions. Most interventions are not explicitly part of a coherent package of measures but they tend to involve multiple actors from policy and organisational levels, sometimes in complex configurations. A list of good practices for R&R interventions was identified, including context-sensitivity when implementing and transferring interventions to different organisations and countries. While single R&R interventions on their own have little impact, bundles of interventions are more effective. Interventions backed by political and executive commitment benefit from a strong support base and involvement of relevant stakeholders.

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