Rural Youths’ Access to Health Care Services: A qualitative study of a municipality in Northern Sweden
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Introduction: Access to health care services is a key factor to enable equal health care on equal conditions. Rural areas have limited possibilities to provide health care services, and youths are a heterogeneous group with diverse health care needs. These factors combined; challenges rural youth’s possibilities to access health care services. This paper will focus on rural youth’s access to health care based on four dimension of access; Geographical accessibility, availability, financial accessibility and acceptability.
Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the challenges and strategies to ensure youth’s access to health care services in a rural municipality that does not have a youth clinic.
Methods: Six key informants from a rural municipality have been individually interviewed and one focus group discussion with students from a high school within the municipality have been conducted. The interviews have been translated, verbatim transcribed and analyzed following a qualitative content analysis method.
Result: Four categories emerged from the analysis of the interviews and focus group discussion; 1) Rural closeness; both good and bad, 2) Youths are not in the center of the health care organization, 3) Cooperation is essential to make the best out of limited resources, 4) Youth clinics; possible to modify to fit a rural setting.
Conclusion: Youths in the rural municipality are perceived to have the same health needs as youths living in other places in Sweden. The characteristics of the rural community both enable and impede access. Sjukstugan is the hub of the health care organization in the rural setting but has no special focus on youths. Difficulties with booking appointments and that health care was not perceived to be visible enough are some of the barriers. The school health has an essential role and is more or less compensating for the lack of a youth clinic.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 37 p.
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341x ; 2016:17
youths, rural areas, access, health care, youth clinic, qualitative content analysis
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131515OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131515DiVA: diva2:1074721
Master's Programme in Public Health
2016-05-24, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 08:09 (English)
Goicolea, Isabel, Associated Professor
Coe, Anna-Britt, Associated Professor