How healthy are public health service delivery workers? A mixed method study comparing the health and well-being of public health workers with the general population in England
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Everyone Health Ltd, Hinckley, United Kingdom
University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2022-07-05
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2022;8(Supplement):A41
Whilst it might be anticipated that those working in health promotion roles exhibit an improved personal health profile, or exhibit healthier lifestyle choices, research has shown that the healthcare workforce exhibits the same health behaviors as the general population. There has been a substantial amount of research in relation to health professionals in general and very little research conducted with those working in public health.

To examine and review the health and wellbeing of health professionals employed by a private provider of public health delivery services and compare it to the general population.

A mixed method design was employed, consisting of a survey and semi-structured interviews. A total sample of 63 employees completed an online survey and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 of those participants.

The mean BMI and percentage of those overweight or obese were significantly different and lower than those of the general population: BMI (24.79 vs 27.5, p<0.0001), overweight/obese (34.4% vs 63%, p<0.0001). The smoking prevalence, mean number of fruit and vegetable portions consumed per day and percentage of those meeting ‘active’ physical activity status were also all better and significantly different to the general population: smoking (1.6% vs 17%, p<0.0001), fruit and vegetables (7.354 vs 3.7, p=0.0001), percentage ‘active’ (98% vs 73%, p<0.0001). The mean units of alcohol consumed per week were better but not significantly different (10.31 vs 12.3, p=0.3268). Thematic analysis of the interviews highlighted five key themes: environment, social support, knowledge, motivation, and perceived health; with multiple subthemes.

Those working in public health delivery services are more inclined to ‘practice what they preach’ in terms of their own health and wellbeing, when compared to other health professional groups and are significantly healthier than the general population.

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