Survey on professional training in three Italian. Post-Graduate Schools of Public Health

D. Taietti, M. Tirani, E. Shahi, E. Garavelli, M. Nobile, D. Cereda, M. Lanzoni, E. Biganzoli, S. Castaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: In 2005 the European Union (EU) recognized the equivalence within its member states of qualifications conferred by post-graduate schools (PGS) in public health. In Italy, ministerial decree no. 176 of 1st August 2005 defined the training goals and the related training programmes (Training Activities) leading to conferral of the qualification of specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (PHPM). This study aimed to develop and validate an assessment tool for professional training programmes. The purpose has been to identify and evaluate their typical features and, at the same time, to enable comparison between Italian PGSs in PHPMs.

METHODS: In the first phase, a multiple-choice questionnaire was created, using a Likert scale with scores from 1 to 6. This was prepared by post-graduates attending the Milan PGS. This tool was validated by applying it to a pilot sample of post-graduates attending the Milan PGS in PHPM. Following this, a second round of discussion and validation of the model took place, involving 61 post-graduates attending PGSs in PHPM at the Universities of Palermo, Pisa and Turin. A web platform was used that enabled the survey to be created and managed by defining and managing pre-set interview templates.

RESULTS: The questionnaire consisted of three sections: Section A - Twenty-eight percent of post-graduates attended their training programme in a university or research centre, 29.8% in a hospital and 35.1% in a Local Health Unit. This training program lasted more than 12 months in 37% of the cases. Section B - The answers were all above pass-level (3 to 4 = satisfactory) except as regards the level of empowerment and the workload, which was judged to be unsatisfactory overall.The skills of the staff present in the facility attended were judged favourably (3.5). Section C - Section C investigates the duration and autonomy of the activities performed during the training programmes aimed at meeting the training requirements set out in ministerial decree no. 176/2005. Among respondents, 87% had taken part in ongoing statistical public health analyses, 81% had given presentations and contributed posters in public health congresses and 79% had planned or implemented an epidemiological survey.

CONCLUSIONS: A pre-set form for the assessment of training programmes by the post-graduates themselves is a useful tool with which to obtain their feedback. Public health providers must be able to view their training programme as a means of developing the numerous skills the profession requires. Eventually, they must be capable of acting autonomously, and to this end they need to interact with the numerous tutors with whom they come into contact. These latter were judged very favourably by the survey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-632
Number of pages10
JournalAnnali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunità
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Italy
  • Post-graduate school
  • Public health
  • Survey
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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