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Rural Health
Resources by Topic: Social connectedness

Loneliness and Social Isolation Are Common in Rural America. Is "Social Infrastructure" the Solution?
Discusses structural factors that contribute to social isolation in rural areas. Features programs in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Alaska that are finding ways to build connection into rural communities.
Author(s): Brendan Stermer
Citation: Rural Monitor
Date: 06/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Rural Health Information Hub
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Enduring Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Access, Nutrition, and Well-Being in Rural Appalachia
Examines the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on a rural, Appalachian community in Kentucky. Utilizes focus group data from 39 participants to analyze ongoing issues such as social isolation, cost of living, and food access. Discusses how these issues affect mental health, access to needed medications, and ability to purchase nutritious food.
Author(s): Kathryn M. Cardarelli, Emily DeWitt, Rachel Gillespie, Nathan Bandy, Heather Norman-Burgdolf
Citation: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(5), 594
Date: 05/2024
Type: Document
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Providing Behavioral Health Support for Older Adults
Podcast episode featuring a discussion with leaders of Broaddus Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital in West Virginia, describing how they work to identify and fill the unique mental health needs of older adults in the community, including the development of an intensive outpatient group therapy program for older adults.
Date: 05/2024
Type: Audio
Sponsoring organization: American Hospital Association
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Greener Pastures
A documentary that follows 4 Midwestern farm families over a number of years and examines issues such as mental health, social isolation, climate change, and economic uncertainty. Provides commentary on farming life in rural America.
Date: 03/2024
Type: Video/Multimedia
Sponsoring organization: Public Broadcasting Service
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The Health and Social Impacts of the Maui Wildfires: Post-Disaster Care from a Sociocultural Lens
Highlights the impact of a wildfire event on existing health and social service disparities in Maui, Hawaii. Discusses housing, employment, finances, mental health, suicide risk, culture, social isolation, rurality, and service limitations. Notes opportunities and challenges for addressing these impacts using telehealth and outside assistance.
Author(s): Ryan Holliday, Lauren S. Krishnamurti, Shiloh E. Jordan, et al.
Citation: Hawai'i Journal of Health & Social Welfare, 83(3), 85-87
Date: 03/2024
Type: Document
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Rural Communities and Building Social Connection for Older Adults and People with Disabilities
Discusses social isolation in rural contexts for older adults and people with disabilities. Notes opportunities and resources for social engagement in the areas of transportation, access to healthcare, technology, and community partnerships. Includes examples of social engagement programs.
Date: 02/2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Commit to Connect
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Identifying Our Needs: A Survey of Elders Cycle VIII (2020-2023) - 2024 Final Report
Report highlights data collected from a survey of American Indian and Alaska Native elders regarding their health and wellness. Explores reported rates of healthcare access, substance use, social support, housing, healthcare screening, and more.
Additional links: Infographic: Caregiving and Socialization Among Native Elders, Infographic: Frailty and Physical Functioning Among Native Elders, Infographic: Native Elders in the United States, Infographic: Nutrition Among Native Elders
Date: 2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: National Resource Center on Native American Aging
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Primary Care Professionals' Perspectives on Tailoring Buprenorphine Training for Rural Practice
Interviewed 23 rural Ohio primary care professionals to identify barriers to prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment. Discusses the need for training addressing rural-specific barriers, limited patient access to required social supports, workforce, and stigma. Offers recommendations based on findings.
Author(s): Cheyenne Fenstemaker, Elizabeth A. Abrams, Benjamin Obringer, et al.
Citation: Journal of Rural Health, 2024
Date: 2024
Type: Document
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Women Veterans: The Journey to Mental Wellness
Report discussing mental health for female veterans. Discusses topics including suicide prevention with a focus on rural issues, abuse and violence, substance use, eating disorders, social connectedness, maternity, and care coordination. Offers policy and research recommendations to the Veterans Health Administration.
Additional links: Quick Glance
Date: 2024
Type: Document
Sponsoring organization: Disabled American Veterans
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Rural-Urban Differences in Social and Emotional Protective Factors and Their Association with Child Health and Flourishing
Examines differences in childhood protective factors in rural and urban communities that correlate with childhood health and wellness. Utilizes 2018-2021 data from the National Survey of Children's Health to analyze protective factors such as caregiver emotional and social support, caregiver mental and physical health, family resilience and connectedness, neighborhood and school safety, and more. Includes rural versus urban comparisons with data further broken down by race/ethnicity, sex, age, health status, and marriage status of caregiver.
Author(s): Rose Y. Hardy, Samantha J. Boch, Mattina A. Davenport, Laura J. Chavez, Kelly J. Kelleher
Citation: Journal of Rural Health, 40(2), 314-325
Date: 2024
Type: Document
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