Accessing Rural Health Services: Results From a Qualitative Narrative Gerontological Study

Neville, S
Napier, S
Adams, J
Shannon, K
Item type
Journal Article
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Australian Council on the Ageing

OBJECTIVE: Explore how older adults' talk about accessing rural community health services. METHODS: A qualitative narrative gerontological approach explored issues related to accessing health services in their community. Semi-structured digitally recorded individual interviews were undertaken with 32 community-dwelling older people aged between 75 and 93 years. A narrative data analytic process was undertaken. The COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research guidelines were followed to ensure rigour in this study. RESULTS: Three collective narratives resulted from the data analytic process: (a) "accessing local health services"; (b) "accessing specialist services"; and (c) "accessing emergency services." CONCLUSIONS: Narrators identified a number of issues related to accessing rural health services. These included long waiting times, lack of continuity in care provision by doctors and difficulties accessing specialist and emergency services. Nurses were frequently cited as a reliable point of contact for these older people. Expansion of nursing roles would enhance the provision of rural health-care services.

Access , Health services , Older adults , Primary health care , Rural
Australasian Journal on Ageing, 39(1), e55-e61.
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© 2019 The Authors. Australasian Journal on Ageing published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of AJA Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.