Improving Health Awareness Through an Education and Health Screening Program

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2016-12-02
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Kealoha-Wong, Yvonne
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Davis, Alice
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In Healthy People 2010: Understanding and Improving Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000a), access to quality health services (which includes rural health care awareness) was rated as the top ranking rural health priority. Rural is described as a slower pace of life, a sense of community, and a closer connection to nature and tradition, characteristics commonly associated with rural areas. Rural is defined more formally as an area within a particular geographical, political, or economic status. In an effort to appreciate the health care needs of a rural community on Hawaii Island, results from a combination of focus groups, residents’ participation in common health screening recommendations and residents’ health awareness were analyzed. The Health Literacy Skills Framework (Squiers, Peinado, Berkman, Boudewyns, & McCormack, 2012) was used to analyze the results. In addition to the common challenges identified in rural communities, such as provider shortages, isolation, long distance travel, poor access to health care, scarcity of specialty care, and under-resourced infrastructure, this project revealed unique influences on use, understanding, and participation in health care. These included the strong spiritual beliefs of the community, use of Hawaiian healing practices, a strong sense of ohana (family), and the importance of trust in participating in health care outside of the community.
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rural communites, health literacy, health awareness, health screening, traditions, health disparities, access, Economics--Sociological aspects
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