Planning Health Workforce Training in the Detection and Prevention of Excessive Alcohol Consumption: An Optimization-Based Approach

  • Joana Faria
  • Teresa Cardoso-Grilo
  • Cristina Gomes
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 223)


The adequate training of health workforce in the field of excessive alcohol consumption is essential to provide health professionals with the necessary tools for an adequate provision of care, thus leading to a decrease in alcohol consumption. Proper planning of such training is thus essential, but literature in this area is still scarce. This paper proposes an optimization model based on mathematical programming for supporting the planning of health workforce training in the field of excessive alcohol consumption in National Health Service-based countries – the \({\textit{WFTM}}^{alcohol}\). The model aims at informing on (i) how many health professionals (physicians and nurses) should be trained per year and health unit, and (ii) which training packages should be available per year. The model allows exploring the impact of considering different objectives relevant in this sector, including the minimization of costs and the maximization of multiple performance indicators. Acknowledging that several sources of uncertainty may affect planning decisions, a sensitivity analysis on key parameters of the model is performed. To illustrate the applicability of the model, a case study based on the Oeste Sul ACES in Lisbon is analyzed. Results confirm that there is a shortage of trained professionals in this field in Portugal.


Health workforce training Excessive consumption of alcohol Optimization Mathematical programming models Performance indicators 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana Faria
    • 1
  • Teresa Cardoso-Grilo
    • 1
  • Cristina Gomes
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Management Studies of Instituto Superior Técnico (CEG -IST)Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)LisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Direção-Geral da SaúdeLisbonPortugal

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