Journal article

From 'problem-describing' to 'problem-solving': Challenging the 'deficit' view of remote and rural health

Lisa Bourke, John S Humphreys, John Wakerman, Judy Taylor

Australian Journal of Rural Health | WILEY | Published : 2010


OBJECTIVE: Rural and remote health research has highlighted the many problems experienced in the bush. While attention to problems has raised awareness of the needs of rural and remote health, embedding a deficit perspective in research has stereotyped rural and remote health as poor environments to work in and as inherently problematic. The objectives of this paper are to challenge this thinking and suggest that a more balanced approach, acknowledging strengths, is beneficial. DESIGN: This discussion identifies why the deficit approach is problematic, proposes a strengths-based approach and identifies some key strengths of rural and remote health. RESULTS: This study suggests alternative wa..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Anne McKenzie for assistance with preparing this paper and the Australian Research Council for funding this paper as part of a larger project developing a theoretical framework for rural and remote health. We also thank the comments of four anonymous reviewers and editors of this journal for aiding in publication of this work.