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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - PlosONE
Title Job Preferences of Nurses and Midwives for Taking Up a Rural Job in Peru: A Discrete Choice Experiment
Volume 7
Issue 12
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 0-0
URL http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0050315#pone-0050315-g001
Robust evidence on interventions to improve the shortage of health workers in rural areas is needed. We assessed stated factors that would attract short-term contract nurses and midwives to work in a rural area of Peru.

Methods and Findings
A discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted to evaluate the job preferences of nurses and midwives currently working on a short-term contract in the public sector in Ayacucho, Peru. Job attributes, and their levels, were based on literature review, qualitative interviews and focus groups of local health personnel and policy makers. A labelled design with two choices, rural community or Ayacucho city, was used. Job attributes were tailored to these settings. Multiple conditional logistic regressions were used to assess the determinants of job preferences. Then we used the best-fitting estimated model to predict the impact of potential policy incentives on the probability of choosing a rural job or a job in Ayacucho city. We studied 205 nurses and midwives. The odds of choosing an urban post was 14.74 times than that of choosing a rural one. Salary increase, health center-type of facility and scholarship for specialization were preferred attributes for choosing a rural job. Increased number of years before securing a permanent contract acted as a disincentive for both rural and urban jobs. Policy simulations showed that the most effective attraction package to uptake a rural job included a 75% increase in salary plus scholarship for a specialization, which would increase the proportion of health workers taking a rural job from 36.4% up to 60%.

Urban jobs were more strongly preferred than rural ones. However, combined financial and non-financial incentives could almost double rural job uptake by nurses and midwifes. These packages may provide meaningful attraction strategies to rural areas and should be considered by policy makers for implementation.

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