Healthworkers’ motivation in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review of the literature

Main Article Content

Ivo Vlaev Kelly Ann Schmidtke Julie Balen Felicity Dormon


Healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face a double burden of workforce challenges: low availability of healthworkers, and poor performance of many in post. Knowledge of what motivates healthworkers in their work may help address both challenges. To understand developments in this area, a systematic review of f literature was conducted. From an initial 4341 papers, 73 met the review’s inclusion criteria, encompassing a mix of focuses, methodologies, and geographical areas. Five themes are identified by healthworkers in the studies reviewed as influencing their motivation: working conditions (54 studies), financial incentives (46 studies), social incentives (37 studies), career development (31 studies) and living conditions (28 studies). As in previous reviews, there is a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of interventions for improving the availability, performance and motivation of healthworkers. A number of areas for further research are highlighted such as: developing effective interventions, understanding the role of context, and analysing the cost-effectiveness of different approaches to attracting and motivating healthworkers.

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How to Cite
VLAEV, Ivo et al. Healthworkers’ motivation in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review of the literature. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 8, aug. 2017. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 may 2024.
healthcare, health workforce, motivation, performance, quality, retention
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