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Social representations of public health among healthcare workers within the French Armed Forces

Abstract : Background: Public health is a multidisciplinary activity whose fields of action are acquiring an increasingly broad. The Service de santé des armées (SSA) has always had a culture of public health problems thanks to doctors specialized in the treatment of major diseases. Often involved in public health activities, health professionals nevertheless have a fragmented vision. The objective was to describe the social representations of public health of military healthcare workers. Method: The responders were doctors, nurses, veterinarians and pharmacists practicing in different areas of SSA (caregivers, administrators, policy makers) and were interviewed by telephone. A question of spontaneous evocation on the representations of public health in the army was asked. The overall lexical analysis was performed according to the method of rank-frequency. Categorical analysis was conducted to better understand the whole lexical field use. Results: There were 90 responders. The most salient terms were “prevention, epidemiological surveillance and vaccination”. The categorical analysis showed that doctors used a lexical field primarily focused on diseases and risk behaviors, nurses on the specifics of military surveillance and policy makers about the cross-discipline. Conclusion: Public health in the army is mainly represented by epidemiological surveillance and prevention. Given the non-mentioned fields, a strengthening of communication on the current challenges of public health would probably improve adherence of healthcare professionals since public health takes on more and more importance in the development of the national health policy and management of health crises.
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A. Sanchez, G. Velut, P. Nivoix, A. Mayet, Lionel Dany, et al.. Social representations of public health among healthcare workers within the French Armed Forces. Epidemiology and Public Health / Revue d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Elsevier Masson, 2016, 64 (1), pp.7-14. ⟨10.1016/j.respe.2015.10.001⟩. ⟨hal-01648427⟩

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