226925 Training health promotion workforce in Latin America: Competencies for social impact

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Silvia E. Rabionet, EdD , College of Pharmacy, Nova Southestern University, Ft Lauderdale, FL
Hiram Arroyo, MPHE, EdD , Department of Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Ivelisse M. García-Meléndez , Graduate School of Public Health-MSC-University of Puerto Rico, Carolina, PR
Background: Health Promotion (HP) workforce development in Latin America has consolidated in the last two decades. There is a growing trend towards establishing university-based programs for training those responsible for designing, implementing, and evaluating HP programs. Universities in the region are committed to advancing field. There are some descriptive compilations of training initiatives in the region. However, there are very few critical studies that contrast what is being taught, at what level, and what content and skill are they offering to assure social impact and change. Methods: Qualitative critical content analysis was used to assess the HP curriculum of ten Latin American countries, including countries in the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. Three categories were used for the analysis: 1) predominant curricular perspective, 2) levels of specialization, and 3) presence of content and skills that could lead to competencies related to social change. Directors of the programs under study provided written detailed descriptions of the programs by country. The authors based their analysis on these documents. Results and Conclusions: The region has primarily adopted a competency-based model. Elements of other less prescriptive curricular models, as the humanistic, are present. The level of specialization varies greatly posing challenges to regional accreditation and certifications. Tenets of social justice, advocacy and community involvement figure predominantly in terms of content and skills. Universities in Latin America are committed to HP advancement as a practical and scholarly field. This should facilitate the use of HP as a strategy for improving health in the region.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the predominant curricular perspectives in health promotion training programs in Latin America. Identify the levels of specialization of the programs in the region. Identify competencies being taught to promote social action and health promotion tenets. Discuss the methodology used (critical content-analysis) to study and compare the curriculum of the different countries.

Keywords: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am an associate professor in health education and health promotion and the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health and Nova South Eastern University. I have a doctoral degree in Education and have published in the area of competency and workforce development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.