Undervalued professionals: placement of nutritionist in the Ecuadorian health system

A. C. Román, M. A. Villar, M. B. Ocampo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

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Background: Currently, many public health issues are directly related to malnutrition, and are made worse by social inequities. Nutrition professionals must be a key player in improving epidemiological aspects of nutrition-related diseases and must be part of clinical teams to control nutritional concerns. Objective: To identify and analyze the nutritionists´ employment situation in Ecuador and areas of work covered and determine if type of university has an impact over work situation. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted, approved by the ethics committee of Universidad San Francisco de Quito. It included 442 nutritionists in Ecuador who graduated in 13 universities (5 private (PR) and 8 public (PU)) between 2008 and 2019. It implied an online survey that questioned their satisfaction with their education and current work situation. All the statistical analyses were performed using R version 4.0.3, two-sided weighted chi-square test was performed to estimate the difference between public and private university graduates, IC 95%, p between 0.01 and 0.05. Results: 38,6% of participants are unemployed, 68,28% private university graduates (PR) are currently employed and 58.87% work as nutritionists, compared to 56,86% from a public university (PU) currently working and 44.69% working in the field. 76% have reported being unemployed at some point in their careers, being difficulty finding jobs the main reason. Regarding the professional field, most professionals have their own business, and the less common area of work was public and community nutrition. One third of the participants had another paid activity. The main salary is 800USD per month and graduated from PR perceived better salaries than from PU. Conclusion: There is a lack of job opportunities for Ecuadorian nutritionists despite the high demand in every level of the health system. Most have been unemployed at some point in their careers due to difficulties finding jobs. There is a minimum nutrition staff working in community and public health nutrition.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo407
PublicaciónBMC Health Services Research
EstadoPublicada - 26 abr. 2023


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