Population considerations

  • Access to healthcare.  Access to quality healthcare remains a contributing factor to cardiovascular disparities for rural and lower socioeconomic status populations (Mensah, 2005).
  • Poorly developed infrastructures: Rural areas are frequently characterized by poorly developed and fragile economic infrastructures, resulting in fewer available per capita hospital beds, doctors, nurses, and other health services (Schur, 1999). 
  • Physical barriers: In addition to socioeconomic hardships, rural residents face substantial physical barriers (Auchincloss, 2002), including lack of public transportation, difficult terrain, and long distances to services (Schur 1999; Braden 1994; Bull 2001; Rogers 2000).

  Strategies to address considerations

  • Work with the local entities. Working with your local governments and community groups can be helpful in creating policies to change poorly developed infrastructures. 
  • Provide transportation. It may be useful to work with community groups to set up free or reduced transportation to medical offices and hospitals. 
  • Provide resources for healthcare: Provide contact information for nearby physicians and hospitals.  It may be easier for rural residents to access quality care if they are provided with several contacts.  Also provide easy access to healthcare literature.
  • Provide opportunities to be physically active:  Provide avenues that allow individuals to exercise, whether it be walking trails or an exercise complex.

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