Does the density of the health workforce predict adolescent health? A cross-sectional, multilevel study of 38 countries.
|Title||Does the density of the health workforce predict adolescent health? A cross-sectional, multilevel study of 38 countries.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Riehm KE, Latimer E, Quesnel-Vallée A, Stevens GWJM, Gariépy G, Elgar FJ|
|Journal||J Public Health (Oxf)|
|Date Published||2018 Jun 11|
Background: Scant evidence exists on the relation between the availability of health professionals and adolescent health, and whether the size of the health workforce equally benefits adolescents across socioeconomic strata.Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of adolescent health in 38 countries. Data from 218 790 adolescents were drawn from the 2013/2014 Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey. We used multilevel regression analyses to examine the association between the density of the health workforce and psychosomatic and mental health symptoms with differences in country wealth and income inequality controlled.Results: A higher density of psychologists was associated with better self-reported mental health in adolescents (P = 0.047); however, this finding was not robust to sensitivity analyses. The densities of physicians and psychiatrists were not significantly associated with better adolescent psychosomatic or mental health. Cross-level interactions between the health workforce and socioeconomic status did not relate to health, indicating that larger health workforces did not reduce socioeconomic differences in adolescent health.Conclusions: This study found that adolescents in countries with a higher density of health providers do not report better psychosomatic or mental health. Other social or structural factors may play larger roles in adolescent health.
|Alternate Journal||J Public Health (Oxf)|