Despena Andrioti, George Charalambous, Alexandra Skitsou and John Kyriopoulos
Background: Targeted training programmes are more efficient towards skills development. Literature on assessing training needs in order to formulate programmes through international partnerships is very limited. This study intended to identify perceived training needs in public health with an aim at providing the respective training in cooperation with the World Health Organization, European Office. Method and Material: We distributed a questionnaire to Greek professionals such as doctors, nurses, administrative personnel and social scientists, employed in the public sector all over the country. We analysed 197 structured self-administered questionnaires using one way ANOVA to identify associations between individual characteristics of health professionals and perceived training needs. Results: The majority of participants were women (n=143, 73%) and men (n=53, 27%). In terms of motivation to participate in and expectations of the course, they stressed the need to go deeper into applications, tools and methods on how to implement relevant policies, to better serve the population of their respective district. They rank primary health care (68.5%), health system challenges (66%) and environmental health (61%) as the highest priorities echoed current population needs. Conclusions: This international partnership training programme was the first of this type provided to a member state by WHO/EURO. It combined academic expertise in curriculum development and teaching technologies with practical expertise in course content and audience needs. Given the financial constrains in the country national health system reforms in organization and management to provide efficient services is of the highest importance. Assessing perceived training needs of health professionals will help designing more effective training curricula.