Studies have shown that rural Americans have higher rates of chronic disease and poor overall health compared to those living in urban areas. They suffer higher incidence of disease and disabilities, increased mortality, and lower life expectancies. In rural America, we find fewer job opportunities, a poorer population, and social isolation which all increase the risk for poor health. Also fewer health care practitioners, especially doctors, increases the healthcare risks for this typically older and poorer population.
We also see a disparity in healthcare insurance coverage within this vulnerable population. Very few have employer provided insurance nor do they qualify for Medicaid. These and many other issues we face as APN’s in providing quality care to our rural population.
The Agency of Healthcare and Research and Quality (AHRQ) is developing initiatives to address healthcare disparities The Agency of Healthcare Research and promotes the use of four steps:
Developing a collaborative process of research involving researchers and community representatives
Recognizing the community as a unit of identity
Building on the strengths of resources within the community
Facilitating collaborative, equitable partnerships in all phases of research and utilizing an empowering process
Promoting co-learning and capacity building among all partners
Integrating knowledge generation and intervention for the mutual benefit of all partners.
Emphasizing the local relevance of public health problems and multiple determinates of health and disease including biomedical, social, economic and physical environmental factors.
Findings can be disseminated to all partners
This method benefits the rural community through the knowledge gained and the resources provided as well as developing a partnership with diverse experts to address the complex health issues. Utilizing the research findings specific interventions can be developed for the under served and may help eliminate rural health disparities.
As advanced practice nurses, how can we begin to eliminate disparities in rural underserved areas?
Use an APA 7 style and a minimum of 350 words. Provide support from a minimum of at least three (3) scholarly sources. The scholarly source needs to be: 1) evidence-based, 2) scholarly in nature, 3) Sources should be no more than five years old (published within the last 5 years), and 4) an in-text citation. citations and references are included when information is summarized/synthesized and/or direct quotes are used, in which APA style standards apply.
• Textbooks are not considered scholarly sources.
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