Health and Poverty of Rural Children: An Under-Researched and Under-Resourced Vulnerable Population.
Nearly 1 in 5 children in the United States live in rural areas. Rural children experience health and health care disparities compared to their urban peers and represent a unique and vulnerable pediatric patient population. Important disparities exist in all-cause mortality, suicide, firearm-related unintentional injury, and obesity. Rural children experience decreased availability and accessibility of primary care and specialty care (especially mental health care) due to a decreased number of health care providers as well as geographical and transportation-related barriers. Other geographic and socioeconomic determinants, especially concerning poverty and substandard housing conditions, are likely important contributors to the observed health disparities. Increased funding for research focused on rural populations is needed to provide innovative solutions for the unique health needs of rural children. Policy changes positioned to correct the trajectory of poor health among children should consider the needs of rural children as an under-researched and under-resourced vulnerable population.
Child; Health Services Accessibility; Healthcare Disparities; Humans; Poverty; Rural Population; Socioeconomic Factors; United States; Urban Population; Vulnerable Populations
health care delivery; health disparities; health equity; rural health; social determinants of health
Bettenhausen JL, Winterer CM, Colvin JD. Health and Poverty of Rural Children: An Under-Researched and Under-Resourced Vulnerable Population. Acad Pediatr. 2021 Nov-Dec;21(8S):S126-S133. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2021.08.001. PMID: 34740419.