Rural health : who is ignorant?
Citation:Burnett, K. (2017). Rural health: who is ignorant? An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3846
AIM: To understand the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of musculoskeletal health of a small group of rural people. METHODS: Nine rural farmers in the Otago-Southland area were interviewed on their experiences of pain, help seeking and musculoskeletal complaints. Cluster analysis and mathematical modeling were used to assist in the formalization of the data and identification of the themes. RESULTS: Three main themes were identified that portrayed the experience and behaviors of this group of rural people. 1) Putting up with pain, 2) Avoiding help 3) Chained to the farm. An associate theme, 4) The downfall of isolation, was also noted within the data. DISCUSSION: The findings showed that pain is frequently experienced when working on a farm. This group of rural people often put up with pain for long periods of time, and at high levels, before seeking help from health professionals. Knowledge about, and access to, these professionals are factors that contribute to delayed help seeking in these communities. CONCLUSION: Farmers in rural Otago-Southland are suffering from pain arising from musculoskeletal disorders unnecessarily due to a lack of knowledge about and access to manual therapies. A culture of stoicism contributes to this by not allowing rural people to recognize or seek help. A larger study is urgently recommended to establish how prevalent this situation is in order to address what appears to be a real need