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continuing education, health education competencies, professional preparation



  1. Price, James H. PhD, MPH
  2. Akpanudo, Sutoidem MBBS, MPH
  3. Dake, Joseph A. PhD, MPH
  4. Telljohann, Susan K. HSD, CHES


The objective of the study described in this article was to determine the perceived continuing-education needs of employed public health educators. A three-wave mailing of a questionnaire was sent to a national sample of 500 public health educators who were asked to rate their preparation on 41 subcompetencies. Of 299 returned surveys (63%), 149 indicated that they were not currently practicing public health educators. Thus, analysis was based on 150 respondents. Six subcompetencies were perceived by 25% or more of the respondents as topics in which they needed more training. Health educators reported a need for continuing education, focused primarily on administration and evaluation of programs and applying appropriate research principles. Furthermore, the public health educators overwhelmingly preferred to attend a conference or workshop (85%) as their method of obtaining further continuing education. Health education programs and professional organizations need to take note of the identified continuing-education needs when developing future educational programs to adequately update health educators.