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Public Health Nutr. 2011 Aug;14(8):1458-65. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010002491. Epub 2010 Sep 21.

A qualitative evaluation of an Australian public health nutrition workforce development intervention involving mentoring circles.

Author information

1
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Level 5 Block E, Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, Clayton Victoria 3168, Australia. claire.palermo@monash.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate a mentoring circle workforce development intervention among a group of public health nutrition novices.

DESIGN:

The mentoring circle intervention focused on facilitating practice-based public health nutrition competence development and supporting reorientation of practice from clinical services to preventive services. A retrospective post-intervention qualitative semi-structured interview was used to explore the experiences of those participating in the mentoring circle and to make evaluative judgements about intervention attributes and effectiveness.

SETTING:

Victoria, Australia.

SUBJECTS:

Thirty-two novice public health nutrition practitioners employed in the state public health system.

RESULTS:

Key evaluative theme categories relating to the mentoring circle intervention were identified, including the structure and function of the group, the utility of using advanced-level competency items to guide planning, having a safe and supportive environment for learning and the utility of learning via mentoring and on-the-job experiences. These qualitative evaluation data identify the attributes of the mentoring circle intervention contributing to intervention effectiveness.

CONCLUSIONS:

This qualitative evaluation indicates that mentoring circles can be an effective workforce capacity-building intervention, particularly in novice workforces characterised by professional isolation and split function roles.

PMID:
20854718
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980010002491
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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