One Health practices across key agencies in Sweden: Uncovering barriers to cooperation, communication and coordination

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Aim: This study examined the barriers and opportunities in Sweden for integrating One Health practices. Sweden’s long tradition of working with One Health was used as a case to analyse persistent barriers as well as opportunities.

Method: Thirteen semi-structured interviews with experts from the Swedish Veterinary Agency, Food Agency, Public Health Agency, and Environmental Protection Agency were carried out. A thematic content analysis was conducted on the interviews using inductive coding in NVivo.

Results: The study revealed that while collaboration is the general aspiration across the Swedish agencies, barriers persist regarding the understanding of One Health, the integration of the environment sector and awareness of the different terminologies employed within the disciplines. There are legislative challenges and barriers to science to policy translation. Disease outbreak was identified as an opportunity for One Health integration.

Conclusions: A One Health strategy needs to be developed at agency level to define One Health and clarify the roles and responsibilities. To overcome practical challenges, experts need to be aware of different terminologies and practices when collaborating. Further prospects for One Health integration include employing policy entrepreneurs to push One Health onto the political agenda. Preparations for disease outbreaks need to focus on reducing barriers to effectively integrate One Health. Experiences of One Health projects must be disseminated, and to raise awareness, education programmes must integrate One Health into curricula.
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Vol/bindOnline first
StatusUdgivet - 2021


  • One Health
  • Swedish practice
  • Qualitative Research
  • Disease outbreak
  • Zoonoses

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