- Date: 02/12/2024
University of Florida Health has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Florida Blue Foundation to develop and implement programs to…
People living in rural areas have long had difficulty accessing health care, a situation usually attributed to a lack of nearby care providers. But a new study suggests the problem also lies in the financial, cultural and interpersonal challenges many rural residents face when they seek care, especially for chronic conditions.
A team of researchers reviewed 62 studies involving more than 1,350 patients with cancer, behavioral health problems, HIV/AIDS and diabetes living in rural areas. Their goal was to study and synthesize the patients’ experiences when it came to accessing health care services.
The authors found four major “analytic themes,” and accompanying challenges, associated with the patients’ attempts to obtain care for their chronic conditions. They identified these as:
Navigating the rural environment: This category included challenges such as the need to travel long distances for routine health care services while experiencing poor health, having to to rely on spouses and other caregivers for transportation, and the belief that the care available nearby was worse than that in more-distant locations.
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