Perceptions of Urban versus Rural Hospital Patients about Return to Their Communities

T. Patrick Costello, Richard C. Pugh, F. Bruce Steadman, Rosalie A. Kane

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3 Scopus citations


During a two‐month period in 1976, male patients scheduled to be discharged from two Veterans Administration Hospitals, who were aged 55 or older, chronically ill, able to communicate rationally, and had been hospitalized at least a week for the current illness, were interviewed prior to discharge. Information was sought regarding their feelings about admission and discharge, the availability of and their need for 13 related health‐related services at home, and the informal support systems available to them in their local communities. Comparisons were made between patients from distinctly rural settings (communities with less than 5,000 population) and those from larger towns or cities. Both urban and rural patients were modest in assessment of their own health‐related needs, especially their need for social and ancillary health services. In almost all instances, the perceived availability exceeded perceived needs. Rural dwellers reported somewhat less apprehension about entering the hospital; they also reported more social contact in their home communities despite the fact that in this sample the rural dwellers were more likely to be older, widowed, and living alone. Rural dwellers were slightly more likely to have their own family doctor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-555
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1977


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