Objective Current methods used for forecasting workforce requirements in rheumatology are disparate, as are the parameters incorporated into workforce projection studies. The objective of these European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR points to consider (PTC) is to guide future workforce studies in adult rheumatology in order to produce valid and reliable manpower estimates.
Methods The EULAR Standardised Operating Procedures were followed. A multidisciplinary task force with experts including patients with rheumatic diseases from 11 EULAR countries and the USA was assembled. A systematic literature review (SLR) was conducted to retrieve workforce models in rheumatology and other medical fields. PTC were based on expert opinion informed by the SLR, followed by group discussions with consensus obtained through informal voting. The level of agreement with the PTC was voted anonymously.
Results A total of 10 PTC were formulated. The task force recommends models integrating supply (=workforce available in rheumatology), demand (=health services requested by the population) and need (=health services that are considered appropriate to serve the population). In general, projections of workforce requirements should consider all factors relevant for current and future workload in rheumatology inside and outside of direct patient care. Forecasts of workforce supply should consider demography and attrition of rheumatologists, as well as the effects of new developments in healthcare. Predictions of future need/demand should take demographic, sociocultural and epidemiological development of the population into account.
Conclusion These EULAR-endorsed PTC will provide guidance on the methodology and the parameters to be applied in future national and international workforce requirement studies in rheumatology.
- health services research
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SR and FB contributed equally.
Contributors All authors were involved in the discussion and formulation of the points to consider. CD wrote the first version of the manuscript. All authors reviewed it and made extensive comments and appropriate changes to it. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding Funding was provided by the European League Against Rheumatism.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data are available.
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