ORIGINAL PAPER
The number of nurses and midwives per 1000 inhabitants influences life expectancy: a retrospective analysis based on data from 46 countries
 
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1
Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland (Department of Clinical Nursing)
2
Medical University of Maria Skłodowska-Curie, Warsaw, Poland (Institute of Medical Science)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Bożena Czarkowska-Pączek   

Medical University of Warsaw, Department of Clinical Nursing, Ciołka 27, 01-445 Warsaw, Poland
Online publication date: 2021-01-19
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: Increased life expectancy results in greater challenges posed to healthcare. Concurrently, a shortage of healthcare workforce, including nurses, has been observed. Thus, an urgent need exists to implement improvements in healthcare services based on sufficient evidence. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of the relative number of nurses/midwives on life expectancy, and the influence of selected economic variables: gross domestic product (GDP), health expenditure as a percentage of GDP, and health expenditure per capita, on this number. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of the relative number of nurses/midwives on life expectancy, and the influence of select economic variables: GDP, health expenditure as a percentage of GDP, and health expenditure per capita on this number. Material and Methods: A retrospective analysis based on data from 46 countries was performed. Correlations between the relative number of nurses/midwives and life expectancy as well as economic variables were evaluated. To trace the differences between the countries with different relative numbers of nurses/ midwives, the countries were divided into groups as follows – group 1: <5 nurses and midwives/1000 nurses inhabitants, group 2: 5–10 nurses and midwives/1000 inhabitants, and group 3: >10 nurses and midwives/1000 inhabitants. Results: Correlations were found between the relative number of nurses/midwives and life expectancy (p < 0.001, r = 0.68), and economic variables (p < 0.001, r = 0.82; p < 0.001, r = 0.62, and p < 0.001, r = 0.8, respectively). Life expectancy was higher in group 3 vs. groups 1 and 2 (p < 0.001 and p = 0.036, respectively), and in group 2 vs. group 1 (p = 0.006). Economic variables were higher in group 3 vs. group 1 (p < 0.001 for all) and group 2 (p = 0.016, p = 0.025, p = 0.022, respectively), and in group 2 vs. group 1 (p = 002, p = 0.024, p = 0.002, respectively). Conclusions: The relative number of nurses/midwives correlates with life expectancy and relies on the country’s income and level of healthcare system financing.
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ISSN:1232-1087