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Title: Participatory mapping as an approach for health services co-planning : finding the local voice in the rural context
Author: Bowyer, Sarah Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 992X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of the Highlands and Islands
Date of Award: 2018
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A key factor to the Scottish Governments' public policy and public service reconfiguration is collaborative working between service providers and service users in a framework of co-production. A second key factor in this reform is a place-based approach. Despite this rhetoric of co-production of health services having been used for some time in health policy, and considering the numerous interpretations of the meaning of both co–production and 'place' in the academic and professional literature, how rural dwellers experience rurality in terms of places and space, and how this may in turn affect health and interactions with co-production, remains underrepresented in health policy planning. In light of changes in health service provision, rural health care poses itself as a potentially emotive and sometimes volatile topic. A co-productive approach may encourage understanding, acceptance and better usage of health services and neighbourhood resources, by the residents registered as patients with local medical practices. This doctoral research study considered the use of participatory mapping techniques to generate, gather and capture the local voice of residents from two rural Scottish communities, regarding the self-perception of their health in relation to the place they call home. Through a participatory action research approach, using iterative co-design, residents were asked how their environment impacted on their health, and in particular their cardiovascular health. Qualitative data were collected through participatory mapping techniques and co- analysed using a thematic analysis process. The application of the concept of therapeutic landscapes revealed the importance of the 'sense of place' and its impact on health, along with the physical, social and cultural environmental aspects traditionally considered in public health disciplines. Results were digitised using geographic information systems (GIS) to illustrate the interactions between place, people and health, through a relational lens. This research demonstrates a working example of how, drawing from the discipline of health geography, a place based approach can make an important contribution to rural health service co- planning within a co-production framework.
Supervisor: Muñoz, Sarah-Anne ; Rennie, Frank ; Davies, Gareth Rees Sponsor: European Social Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rural health services ; Cartography ; Geographic information systems ; Action research ; Participant observation