Retention strategies and interventions for health workers in rural and remote areas: A systematic review protocol

Sonia Hines, John Wakerman, Timothy A. Carey, Deborah Russell, John Humphreys

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The objective of the current review is to examine the association between exposure to strategies or interventions to retain health workers in rural and remote areas of high-income countries and improved retention rates. Introduction: Attracting and retaining sufficient healthcare staff to provide adequate services for residents of rural and remote areas is an international problem. High-income countries have specific challenges in staffing remote and rural areas; despite the majority of the population clustering in large cities, a significant number of communities are in rural, remote or frontier areas which may be perceived as less attractive locations in which to live and work. Inclusion criteria: The review will consider studies that include health workers in high-income countries where participants have been exposed to interventions, support measures or incentive programs to increase retention or workforce length of employment or reduce turnover for health workers in rural and remote areas. Analytical observational studies, case-control studies, analytical cross-sectional studies, descriptive observational study designs, and descriptive cross-sectional studies published from 2010 will be eligible for inclusion. Methods: We will use the JBI methodology for reviews of risk and etiology. A range of databases will be searched. Two reviewers will screen, critically appraise eligible articles, and extract data from included studies. Data synthesis will be conducted, where feasible, with RevMan 5.3.5. A random effects model will be used to conduct meta-analyses. We will assess the certainty of the findings using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-96
    Number of pages10
    JournalJBI evidence synthesis
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


    • Health workforce
    • incentives
    • remote
    • retention
    • rural


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