HARP-CoV Help-Seeking Among Rural Populations

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We know that in remote and rural areas, seeking help for health reasons can take longer and can be complicated. There is concern that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be an increase in the number of deaths that can be avoided from things like cancer or heart disease, and that this could impact on those living in remote in rural communities./p>

We want to understand what influences help-seeking for new physical health symptoms, and we want to understand what people feel are barriers to seeking help. Knowing this will help us to inform public health messages and help us design better access to healthcare services.

We are currently looking for people to take part in our research.

  • Have you sought help for any new physical health symptoms from healthcare services during the pandemic?

For example from your GP, a practice nurse, out of hours service, accident and emergency, or a self-referral service such as physiotherapy?

  • Are you aged over 18 years of age and live and in rural and/or remote Scotland?

You will be asked to take part in an interview with one of our research team. You can chose to have the interview via phone or video call.

Please contact:

Dr Gareth Davies – gareth.davies@uhi.ac.uk
Dr  Clare Carolan - clare.carolan@uhi.ac.uk

NHS Western Isles Research & Development Lead, Martin Malcolm, said: “The Western Isles in common with areas across the country have seen reductions in people accessing services during the pandemic for variety of reasons. It's important to understand these as we seek to encourage people to continue to come forward with concerning health complaints.

“This study is greatly welcome and will complement our NHS data to help us understand the factors involved, particularly in our remote and rural communities. NHS Western Isles is committed to collaborating with local research that addresses the particular challenges around health among our remote island communities.”

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Dr Gareth Davies

Dr Gareth Davies lives and works in the Western Isles as a lecturer and researcher for Lews Castle College UHI. His research interests include understanding how people access and use health services. Other research interests include online and digital education. Gareth lectures in psychology and in education for UHI.

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Dr Clare Carolan

Dr Clare Carolan lives and works in the Western Isles and is a lecturer and researcher for the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at Lews Castle College UHI. Her research interests include understanding how people living with cancer access supportive care. Other research interests include the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in care home staff and nurse education. Clare lectures on the undergraduate nursing and postgraduate advanced nursing programmes at UHI.