ERIC Number: ED165924
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Sep-1
Reference Count: 0
A Comparative Evaluation of Indices of Rurality--Are Rural Consumers Adequately Represented in the Shaping of Community Health Services?
Riddick, Carol Cutler; Leadley, Samuel M.
In order to investigate the extent to which rural residents are represented among consumer Health Systems Agencies (HSA) governing board members, alternative indices of rurality were examined. Data were used from eight HSA's in Pennsylvania and one bi-state HSA (Pennsylvania and New York); 241 consumer addresses were analyzed. Two discrete, single variable measures which focused upon demographic and geographic approaches were used to define rurality in order to determine the degree to which the proportion of consumer "rural" members agreed with similar proportions of the population. Using a "rough approximate" test it was found that for either measure the proportion of HSA consumer board members did not consistently parallel the residential characteristics of the population in the various health service areas. The two indices were then compared to determine if an HSA region varied from one index to another; again, discrepancies existed depending on the index of rurality used to classify consumer residencies. It was concluded that if HSA's continue to be required to have governing boards broadly representing the geographic areas of their health service areas, then a number of issues have to be resolved; the foremost of these is determining the philosophical underpinning for the working definition of rural (i.e., on the basis of demographic and geographic characteristics, economic characteristics, or occupational characteristics). (BR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park. Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Health Systems Agencies; National Health Planning Resource Development Act; New York; Pennsylvania
Note: Adapted from a paper presented at the Rural Sociological Society (San Francisco, California, September 1, 1978)