Rural Women's Health: Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Issues

Rural Women's Health: Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Issues

Rural Women's Health: Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Issues

Rural Women's Health: Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Issues


Rural Women's Health encompasses the breadth and depth of the unique physical and psychological needs facing rural women throughout the United States and Canada, and identifies positive interventions and outcomes. Raymond T. Coward, founding editor of The Journal of Rural Health, along with five leading practitioners and researchers with contributions from over 25 educators, authors, program leaders, and researchers representing the multidisciplinary spectrum of rural health professionals, present the most comprehensive coverage on rural women's health that exists today.

  • Key issues covered include:

  • Socio-cultural stressors
  • Policy changes
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Obesity and risk factors
  • Behavioral risk factors
  • Chronic diseases
  • Exercise, nutrition, and health promotion programs
  • Education and telehealth

This is a valuable resource for mental health service providers, gerontologists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and primary care physicians.


The health of rural women is of growing concern across the United States, as well as in many other regions of the world. This is because rural women are particularly vulnerable to many health risks. The book addresses the social, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to this elevated risk profile and describes various model programs and best practices designed to lower the health risks associated with being a rural woman in the United States. On top of increased health risks, however, rural women also have to cope with serious limitations in the care that is accessible to them. Many rural areas do not have the specialized health care that is essential for the treatment of serious illnesses, and even basic, primary care is often inadequate. Even when the desired level of health care is available in rural areas, poverty, lack of transportation, and stigmatization often prevent women from receiving the care they need and deserve. A number of possible remedies for dealing with these complicated access issues are described, including policy initiatives and the use of technology.

A unique aspect of the book is its simultaneous focus on the mental, behavioral, and physical health of rural women. Although the prevailing segregation of these areas has been widely recognized as counterproductive, efforts to integrate mental, behavioral, and physical health care have been rewarded with only sporadic success. The causes for this unfortunate state of affairs are complex and include complicated funding and reimbursement practices, professional rivalries and turf battles, and the complexities of linking and integrating different areas of expertise in the interest of providing better health care. Clearly, all health care professionals who serve rural women have a stake in addressing these issues. It is quite . . .

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