Date of Award:

1972

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Advisor/Chair:

Stan L. Albrecht

Abstract

The research reported in this thesis was an exploratory nature undertaken for the purpose of developing a measure of the adequacy of health services in three rural counties in Utah. The three counties included in the study area were Beaver, Piute, and Wayne.

Adequacy of health services in the three-county area was measured on the basis of (1) the general population's, or consumer's, perception of the adequacy of the existing services, (2) the professional's or provider's perception of the adequacy of the existing services, and (3) adequacy of the existing services determined by a comparison with an established standard.

The findings showed that major differences in the general population's perception of adequacy are present when controlling for county with the vast majority of the respondents in Piute and Wayne counties perceiving the existing services as poor, but with a large majority of those in Beaver County considering their services as good or excellent.

With regard to the professional's perception of adequacy of existing services, it was found that the majority of the medical doctors perceived the services as adequate, but the doctors of dental surgery generally perceived the adequacy of service as somewhat less than desirable.

With regard to the last measure, that of adequacy of existing services as determined by a comparison to an established standard, the services in the study area were found to be inadequate in all respects with the single exception of number of hospital beds per 1,000 population in Beaver County.

It was concluded that there is a large degree of consensus between the perceived inadequacy of the health services of the general population in Piute and Wayne counties and the inadequacy demonstrated by the comparison of existing services to an established standard. In Beaver County the reverse is true with the perception of the general population and that of the physician population being very similar, both considering the services adequate but both being in disagreement with adequacy as measured by an established standard.

The findings suggest that more detailed research in the area is needed if a standard of adequacy acceptable to everyone is to be developed.

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