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Scand J Public Health. 2017 Nov;45(7):720-722. doi: 10.1177/1403494817738498.

Public health educational comprehensiveness: The strategic rationale in establishing networks among schools of public health.

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1 Associations of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER), Brussels, Belgium.
2 Department of International Health, CAPHRI, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
3 Department of International Health CAPHRI, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
4 Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland; ASPHER, Brussels, Belgium.
5 Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, and ASPHER, Brussels, Belgium.


The establishment and continuing development of a sufficient and competent public health workforce is fundamental for the planning, implementation, evaluation, effect and ethical validity of public health strategies and policies and, thus, for the development of the population's health and the cost-effectiveness of health and public health systems and interventions. Professional public health strategy-making demands a background of a comprehensive multi-disciplinary curriculum including mutually, dynamically coherent competences - not least, competences in sociology and other behavioural sciences and their interaction with, for example, epidemiology, biostatistics, qualitative methods and health promotion and disease prevention. The size of schools and university departments of public health varies, and smaller entities may run into problems if seeking to meet the comprehensive curriculum challenge entirely by use of in-house resources. This commentary discusses the relevance and strength of establishing comprehensive curriculum development networks between schools and university departments of public health, as one means to meet the comprehensiveness challenge. This commentary attempts to consider a two-stage strategy to develop complete curricula at the bachelor and master's as well as PhD levels.


Public health workforce; behavioural sciences; public health competences; public health education; public health human resources; public health profession; sociology

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