A theory of how rural health services contribute to community sustainability

Soc Sci Med. 2012 Nov;75(10):1903-11. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.06.035. Epub 2012 Aug 4.


Study and opinion suggest that health services play a significant role in supporting the social fabric of fragile rural communities. We draw on empirical evidence about the added-value contributions of health services to communities and unite it with theory of capitals to propose a theoretical model depicting how rural health services contribute to community sustainability. While providing an analytical framework, the paper also points to construction of a measurement tool for enabling planners to measure the contributions of diverse sectors to community sustainability and predict or measure the impact of changes to models of service delivery on the future of rural communities.

MeSH terms

  • Empirical Research
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Rural Population*
  • Social Support*