Advertisement

Audit of essential infection prevention and control content provided within undergraduate/postgraduate public health programs across Australian and New Zealand universities

Published:September 28, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idh.2022.09.001

      Highlights

      • Less than 50% of public health degrees in Australia and New Zealand offer any IPC content as core or elective subjects.
      • Public health tertiary education in Australia and New Zealand is deficient in IPC skills and knowledge.
      • Mandatory IPC content within Australian and New Zealand public health programs is needed.
      • This report is the first of its kind to conduct such an audit of IPC content in public health education.

      Abstract

      Background

      To describe and analyse the infection prevention and control (IPC) curricula within Public Health degrees across Australian and New Zealand Universities and identify foundational IPC knowledge deficits.

      Methods

      A cross-sectional study of public health and related programs across tertiary education institutions within Australia and New Zealand was conducted to comprehensively illustrate the current inclusion of IPC core and elective courses and identify areas of IPC content deficit.

      Results

      Australian (n = 32) and New Zealand (n = 9) universities were audited, consisting of 217 public health/public health related degrees within Australia and 45 within New Zealand. Within Australia 41% of public health degrees and 49% in New Zealand did not offer any IPC content as core or elective subjects.

      Conclusions

      Public health tertiary education in Australia and New Zealand is lacking in equipping and imbedding IPC skills and knowledge in public health graduates. This highlights the need for a framework guiding mandatory IPC content within Australian and New Zealand public health programs.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Infection, Disease & Health
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Public Health Association Australia
        What is public health?.
        PHAA, Australia2018 ([updated 2018; cited 2021 Jun 03]. Available from:)
        • Bjørn J.L.
        • Lukic I.
        • Gulis G.
        The delivery of health promotion and environmental health services; Public health or primary care settings?.
        Healthcare. 2018 May 07; 6 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6020042): 42-48
        • World Health Organization
        (Public health services [Internet]. Copenhagen: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. [updated 2021; cited 2021 Jun 30]. Available from:)
        • Public Health Association Australia
        Careers in public health [Internet].
        PHAA, Australia2019 ([cited 2021 Jun 10]. 2 pp. Available from:)
        • Allied Health Professions Australia & Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences
        Infection prevention and control in allied health.
        Australian Allied Health Leadership Forum, Australia2020 ([cited 2021 Jun 11]. 123 pp. Available from:)
        • Australian Government
        Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare.
        National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia2019 ([cited 2021 Jun 11]. 363 pp. Available from:)
        • United Nations
        General Assembly: Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
        United Nations, New York2015 ([cited 2021 Jun 10]. 35 pp. Available from:)
        • World Health Organization
        Guidelines on Core Components of Infection Prevention and Control Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2016 ([cited 2021 Jun 11]. Available from:)
        • World Health Organization
        International health regulations [Internet].
        World Health Organization, Geneva2005 ([updated 2016; cited 2021 Jun 13]. 74 pp. Available from:)
        • World Health Organization
        Emergency response framework.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2017 ([cited 2021 Jun 11]. 68 pp. Available from:)
        • World Health Organization
        Methodology for prioritizing severe emerging diseases for research and development.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2017 ([cited 2021 Jun 11]. 21 pp. Available from:)
        • Watts R.D.
        • Bowles D.C.
        • Fisher C.
        • Li I.W.
        Public health job advertisements in Australia and New Zealand: a changing landscape.
        Aust N Z J Publ Health. 2019 Sep 18; 43 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12931): 522-528
        • Watts R.D.
        • Bowles D.C.
        • Fisher C.
        • Li I.W.
        The growth of Australian public health graduates and courses, 2001-2018: implications for education and employment opportunities.
        Aust N Z J Publ Health. 2021 Feb 22; 45 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13076): 95-100
        • Bennett C.
        • Fleming M.
        • Fredricks B.
        • Hale K.
        • Howat P.
        • Lilley K.
        • et al.
        Building public health workforce capacity in Australia: Case studies of academic public health education and workforce preparation.
        ANAPHI, Australia2016 (86 pp. Available from:)
        • Hilliard T.M.
        • Boulton M.L.
        Public health workforce research in review: a 25-year retrospective.
        Am J Prev Med. 2012 May 01; 42 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2012.01.031): 17-28
        • Centers for Disease Control
        Action Plan: Public Health Workforce Development [Internet]. United States: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
        2018 ([updated 2019; cited 2021 Jun 12]. Available from:)
        • Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australia
        Strategic Plan: 2016-2020 [Internet].
        CAPHIA, Australia2016 ([cited 2021 Jun 14]. 5 pp. Available from:)
        • Public Health Association of New Zealand
        Te Rākau o te Uru Kahikatea Public Health Nursing Knowledge and Skills Framework.
        PHA, New Zealand2017 ([cited 2021 Jun 14]. 27 pp. Available from:)
        • Allegranzi B.
        Health care without avoidable infections: The critical role of infection prevention and control.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2016 ([cited 2021 Jun 15]. 16 pp. Available from:)
        • Haque M.
        • McKimm J.
        • Sartelli M.
        • Dhingra S.
        • Labricciosa F.M.
        • Islam S.
        • et al.
        Strategies to prevent healthcare-associated infections: A narrative overview. Risk Manag Healthc Policy.
        2020 Sep 09 ([cited 2021 Jul 10];13:1765-1780. Available from: https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S269315)
        • Li L.M.
        • Curtis J.
        • Crookes P.A.
        Identifying essential infection control competencies for newly graduated nurses: a three-phase study in Australia and Taiwan.
        J Hosp Infect. 2014 Feb 01; 86 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2013.08.009): 100-109
        • Pegram A.
        • Bloomfield J.
        Infection prevention and control.
        Nursing Standard. 2012 Nov 09; 29 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.29.29.37.e7257): 37-42
        • Scott R.D.
        • Culler S.D.
        • Rask K.J.
        Understanding the economic impact of health care care-associated infections: a cost perspective analysis.
        J Infusion Nurs. 2019 Mar/Apr; 42 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1097/NAN.0000000000000313): 61-69
        • Wilkason C.
        • Lee C.
        • Sauer L.M.
        • Nuzzo J.
        • McClelland A.
        Assessing and reducing risk to healthcare workers in outbreaks.
        Health Secur. 2020 Jun 17; 18 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1089/hs.2019.0131): 205-211
        • Zingg W.
        • Storr J.
        • Park B.J.
        • Jernigan J.A.
        • Harbarth S.
        • Grayson M.L.
        • et al.
        Broadening the infection prevention and control network globally; 2017 Geneva IPC-think tank (part 3).
        Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2019 May 10; ([cited 2021 Jul 12];8(74). Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-019-0528-0)
        • Barratt R.
        • Gilbert G.L.
        Education and training in infection prevention and control: exploring support for national standards.
        Infect Dis Health. 2021 May 01; 26 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idh.2020.12.002): 139-144
        • Abbas M.
        • Nunes T.R.
        • Martischang R.
        • Zingg W.
        • Iten A.
        • Pittet D.
        • et al.
        Nosocomial transmission and outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019: the need to protect both patients and healthcare workers.
        Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021 Jan 06; 10 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-020-00875-7)
        • Desai A.N.
        • Ramatowski W.
        • Lassmann B.
        • Holmes A.
        • Mehtar S.
        • Bearman G.
        Global infection prevention gaps, needs, and utilization of educational resources: a cross-sectional assessment by the International Society for Infectious Diseases.
        Int J Infect Dis. 2019 Feb 19; 82 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2019.02.017): 54-60
        • Keϊta M.
        • Camara A.Y.
        • Traoré F.
        • Camara M.E.
        • Kpanamou A.
        • Camara S.
        • et al.
        Impact of infection prevention and control training on health facilities during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea.
        BMC Public Health. 2018 Apr 24; 18 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5444-3)
        • Patel A.
        • Jernigan D.B.
        • 2019-nCoV CDC response Team
        Initial public health response and interim clinical guidance for the 2019 novel Coronavirus outbreak – United States, December 31, 2019-February 4, 2020.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Feb 07; 69 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6905e1): 140-146
      1. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards [Internet]. Australia: Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. 2021 ([cited 2021 Jun 15]. 92 pp. Available from:)
        • Ogoina D.
        • Onyemelukwe G.C.
        The role of infections in the emergence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs): compelling needs for novel strategies in the developing world.
        J Infect Publ Health. 2009 Mar 05; 2 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2009.02.001): 14-29
        • Public Health Association of New Zealand
        Generic Competencies for Public Health in Aotearoa-New Zealand.
        PHA, New Zealand2007 (39 pp. Available from:)
        • Genat B.
        • Robinson P.
        • Parker E.
        • Somerset S.
        • Kelsall H.
        Foundation competencies for public health graduates in Australia.
        CAPHIA, Australia2016 (46 pp. Available from:)
        • Ghebrehewet S.
        • Stewart A.G.
        • Baxter D.
        • Shears P.
        • Conrad D.
        • Kliner M.
        Health Protection: Principles and Practice [Internet].
        Oxford University Press, Oxford (UK)2016: 481 (Available from:)
        • Houghton C.
        • Meskell P.
        • Delaney H.
        • Smalle M.
        • Glenton C.
        • Booth A.
        • et al.
        Barriers and facilitators to healthcare workers' adherence with infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines for respiratory infectious diseases: a rapid qualitative evidence synthesis.
        Cochrane Database of Syst Rev. 2020 Apr 21; (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013582): 1-70
        • Storr J.
        • Twyman A.
        • Zingg W.
        • Damani N.
        • Kilpatrick C.
        • Reilly J.
        • et al.
        Core components for effective infection prevention and control programmes: new WHO evidence-based recommendations.
        Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2017 Jan 10; 6 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-016-0149-9): 1-18
        • Ting D.H.
        • Lee C.K.C.
        Understanding students' choice of electives and its implications.
        Stud High Educ. 2011 Jun 01; 37 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2010.512383): 309-325
        • Tsioutis C.
        • Birgand G.
        • Bathoorn E.
        • Deptula A.
        • ten Horn L.
        • Castro-Sánchez E.
        • et al.
        Education and training programmes for infection prevention and control professionals: mapping the current opportunities and local needs in European countries.
        Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2020 Nov 09; 9 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-020-00835-1)
        • Verbeek J.H.
        • Rajamaki B.
        • Sauni R.
        • Toomey E.
        • Blackwood B.
        • Tikka C.
        • et al.
        Personal protective equipment for preventing highly infectious diseases due to exposure to contaminated body fluids in healthcare staff. Cochrane Database of Syst Rev [Internet].
        2020 May 15 ([cited 2021 Aug 04];(5). Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011621.pub5)
        • Birgand G.
        • Johansson A.
        • Szilagyi E.
        • Lucet J.C.
        Overcoming the obstacles of implementing infection prevention and control guidelines.
        Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015 Sep 11; 21 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmi.2015.09.005): 1067-1671
        • Bloom D.E.
        • Cadarette D.
        Infectious disease threats in the twenty-first century: strengthening the global response.
        Front Immunol [Internet]. 2019 Mar 28; ([cited 2021 Aug 04];10(549). Available from: https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00549)
        • Roberts S.
        The provision of infection prevention and control services in the public health sector in New Zealand.
        Healthc Infect. 2013 Sep 01; 18 (Available from: https://doi.org/10.1071/HI13017): 91-93
        • World Health Organization
        Improving infection prevention and control at the health facility: Interim practical manual supporting implementation of the WHO Guidelines on Core Components of Infection Prevention and Control Programmes.
        World Health Organization, Geneva2018 (124 pp. Available from:)
      2. World Health Organization. Antimicrobial resistance. Geneva: World Health Organization [updated 2020; cited 2021 Aug 24]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antimicrobial-resistance.

      3. World Health Organization. Urgent health challenges for the next decade [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; [updated 2020; cited 2021 Aug 17]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/photo-story/photo-story-detail/urgent-health-challenges-for-the-next-decade.