Added-value roles and remote communities: An exploration of the contribution of health services to remote communities and of a method for measuring the contribution of institutions and individuals to community stocks of capital

Maria E Prior

Research output: Book/ReportOther Report

Abstract

Key institutions and services are suggested to contribute to remote communities in ways that extend beyond their primary function. For example, schools and health services are suggested to have important social, symbolic or economic roles in small remote communities. There is little empirical evidence identifying the nature and extent of such roles. Consequently, service reconfiguration driven by economic, political, technological and demographic change may have wider, but currently inadequately understood, impact on remote communities. This is important for policy.
This study explored the nature and extent of added-value contributions, using remote health services as an exemplar (Part 1). A method for measuring the impact, on remote communities, of added-value contributions from any sector was then constructed (Part 2).
Part 1: Eight remote community case studies in Scotland and South Australia explored the added-value roles of the health sector. Cross-case findings present evidence of health professionals’ behaviour and residents’ perceptions of the social, economic and symbolic importance of remote health services to communities. Findings revealed a distinction between health service institutions’ contributions (built environment, employer role, health professional status and competencies and symbolic aspects), and those attributable to health professionals as individuals.
Part 2: Institutional and personal added-value contributions were conceptualised as contributing to stocks of different categories of capital insofar as they constitute tangible and intangible resources available for use by individuals and communities. This conceptual framework provided the basis for developing a prototype generic quantitative instrument (C-CAT) capable of measuring the added-value contributions of institutions and individuals to community stocks of human, social, economic, symbolic and institutional capital.
Uniquely, study outputs provide a potential method of quantifying complex and intangible aspects of remote community life that underpin an innate sense of community ownership, but which have hitherto not been explicitly conceptualised or been capable of measurement.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAberdeen, United Kingdom
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
Number of pages299
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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