Next Article in Journal
Preliminary Assessment of Hurricane Harvey Exposures and Mental Health Impact
Next Article in Special Issue
Research Trend Visualization by MeSH Terms from PubMed
Previous Article in Journal
The Importance of Nidotherapy and Environmental Change in the Management of People with Complex Mental Disorders
Previous Article in Special Issue
Hygiene and Health: Who Do Mothers in Vanuatu Communicate with about Health?
Open AccessArticle

Social Networks and Health: Understanding the Nuances of Healthcare Access between Urban and Rural Populations

1
Division of Graduate Studies and Asia Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
2
Centre for Settlements Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, PMB, Kumasi, Ghana
3
Department of Geography and Sustainability, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 973; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050973
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 13 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Networks and Health)
Communities and individuals in many sub-Saharan African countries often face limited access to healthcare. Hence, many rely on social networks to enhance their chances for adequate health care. While this knowledge is well-established, little is known about the nuances of how different population groups activate these networks to improve access to healthcare. This paper examines how rural and urban dwellers in the Ashanti Region in Ghana distinctively and systematically activate their social networks to enhance access to healthcare. It uses a qualitative cross-sectional design, with in-depth interviews of 79 primary participants (28 urban and 51 rural residents) in addition to the views of eight community leaders and eight health personnel. It was discovered that both intimate and distanced social networks for healthcare are activated at different periods by rural and urban residents. Four main stages of social networks activation, comprising different individuals and groups were observed among rural and urban dwellers. Among both groups, physical proximity, privacy, trust and sense of fairness, socio-cultural meaning attached to health problems, and perceived knowledge and other resources (mainly money) held in specific networks inherently influenced social network activation. The paper posits that a critical analysis of social networks may help to tailor policy contents to individuals and groups with limited access to healthcare. View Full-Text
Keywords: social networks; access to healthcare; trust; health; rural and urban; Ghana social networks; access to healthcare; trust; health; rural and urban; Ghana
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Amoah, P.A.; Edusei, J.; Amuzu, D. Social Networks and Health: Understanding the Nuances of Healthcare Access between Urban and Rural Populations. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 973.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop