Publications

Centre for Remote Health

Charting the future course of rural health and remote health in Australia: Why we need theory

Year:
2010
Type of Publication:
Article
Authors:
  • Bourke L
  • Humphreys JS
  • Wakerman J
  • Taylor J
Journal:
Aust J Rural Health
Volume:
18
Number:
2
Pages:
54-8
Note:
Bourke, Lisa Humphreys, John S Wakerman, John Taylor, Judy Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Australia The Australian journal of rural health Aust J Rural Health. 2010 Apr;18(2):54-8.
Abstract:
OBJECTIVE: This paper argues that rural and remote health is in need of theoretical development. DESIGN: Based on the authors' discussions, reflections and critical analyses of literature, this paper proposes key reasons why rural and remote health warrants the development of theoretical frameworks. RESULTS: The paper cites five reasons why theory is needed: (i) theory provides an approach for how a topic is studied; (ii) theory articulates key assumptions in knowledge development; (iii) theory systematises knowledge, enabling it to be transferable; (iv) theory provides predictability; and (v) theory enables comprehensive understanding. CONCLUSION: This paper concludes with a call for theoretical development in both rural and remote health to expand its knowledge and be more relevant to improving health care for rural Australians.