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Teaching Ethics in Schools of Public Health in the European Region: Findings from a Screening Survey

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Public health ethics is gaining recognition as a vital topic for public health education. The subject was highlighted in a Delphi survey of future priorities of member schools of The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). We conducted a survey of teaching public health ethics in Bachelors and Masters of Public Health programmes targeting all 82 ASPHER member schools in 2010/2011, as an initiative toward improving ethics education in European Schools of Public Health. An eight-items questionnaire collected information on teaching of ethics in public health. A 52 percent response rate (43/82) revealed that nearly all of the responding schools (40 or 95% of the respondents with valid data) included the teaching of ethics in at least one of its programmes. They also expressed the need for support, (e.g., a model curriculum (n=25), case studies (n=24)), which indicates an area for further work to be met by the ASPHER Working Group on Ethics and Values in Public Health. This survey will help guide development of this topic as a teaching priority in public health education in Europe.


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Correspondence to Carmen Aceijas PhD.

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Key Words

  • Public health ethics
  • education
  • European Region