Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/63111
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Type: Journal article
Title: From 'problem-describing' to 'problem-solving': Challenging the 'deficit' view of remote and rural health
Author: Bourke, L.
Humphreys, J.
Wakerman, J.
Taylor, J.
Citation: Australian Journal of Rural Health, 2010; 18(5):205-209
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 1038-5282
1440-1584
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Lisa Bourke, John S. Humphreys, John Wakerman and Judy Taylor
Abstract: <h4>Objective</h4>Rural and remote health research has highlighted the many problems experienced in the bush. While attention to problems has raised awareness of the needs of rural and remote health, embedding a deficit perspective in research has stereotyped rural and remote health as poor environments to work in and as inherently problematic. The objectives of this paper are to challenge this thinking and suggest that a more balanced approach, acknowledging strengths, is beneficial.<h4>Design</h4>This discussion identifies why the deficit approach is problematic, proposes a strengths-based approach and identifies some key strengths of rural and remote health.<h4>Results</h4>This study suggests alternative ways of thinking about rural and remote practice, including the rewards of rural and remote practice, that rural and remote communities can act as change agents, that these disciplines actively address the social determinants of health, that rural and remote areas have many innovative primary health care services and activities and that rural and remote contexts provide opportunities for evaluation and research. It is proposed that rural and remote health can be viewed as problem-solving, thus dynamic and improving rather than as inherently problematic.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Critical of a deficit approach to rural and remote health, this paper provides alternatives ways of thinking about these disciplines and recommends a problem-solving perspective of rural and remote health.
Keywords: deficit; problem; remote health; rural health; strengths-based.
Rights: © 2010 The Authors. Australian Journal of Rural Health © National Rural Health Alliance Inc.
RMID: 0020101092
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2010.01155.x
Appears in Collections:Rural Clinical School publications

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