Health challenges of rural communities and environments

The following projects are an indication of the current research.


What are the challenges associated with ensuring a nursing workforce in rural areas?

Researcher: Angharad Jones (PhD student and Hywel Dda nurse practitioner);
Supervisors: Dr Rachel Rahman & Dr OJ Jiaqing; Aberystwyth University

The delivery of quality health care is of paramount importance to all health care providers, but for some providers, the challenges associated with service delivery are further exacerbated by geography.  Rural and underserved areas face increasing problems in the recruitment and retention of health staff. This is especially so, in light of the move to focus on centralisation of services to more densely populated urban areas. This programme of postgraduate research will explore the challenges and barriers to recruiting nurses in rural Mid Wales.


Identifying the needs of rural based informal care givers of palliative care patients through exploration of their lived experience.

Researcher: Dr Joseph Keenan (PhD research)
Supervisors Dr Rachel Rahman,  Aberystwyth University and Dr Joanne Hudson, Swansea University
External Collaborators: Ms Gudrun Jones, Art Therapist, & Dr Gokul, Palliative Care Physician. Hywel Dda UHB

A number of studies have been conducted which have investigated the expressed needs and experiences of palliative care patients and their families (Clarke & Seymour, 2010).Whilst a pattern of universal needs appear to exist, previous research suggests that these needs and experiences often manifest differently for individuals due to demographic and geographic factors. Robinson, Pesut, and Bottorff (2010) suggested that the nuances of living in specific rural communities may influence how patients and informal caregivers make sense of their needs. Adding credence to suggestions made by Longley, Llewellyn, Beddow, and Evans (2014) that more research needed to be conducted placing focus on understanding the needs and experiences of patients and caregivers, within the specific rural context of Mid-Wales. This research explored the needs of rural care givers of palliative care patients through understanding of their lived experience.

Relevant publications:

Keenan, J.R., Rahman, R., Hudson, J. 2014. Identifying the needs of rural based informal care givers of palliative care patients through exploration of their lived experience. BPS Division of Health Psychology conference, York, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 10/09/2014 – 12/09/2014. Other

Keenan, J., Rahman, R., Hudson, J. 2014. Investigating the psychological well-being and need satisfaction of the informal caregivers of palliative care patients through exploration of lived experiences. BPS Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group Annual Conference 2014, Cardiff, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 23/07/2014 – 25/07/2014.


Young people’s attitudes towards health and safety on farms’

Lead researcher: Dr Hefin Williams, IBERS, Aberystwyth University.
Contributors: Mr Llyr Jones, Health and Safety Officer  &  Dr Rachel Rahman,  Aberystwyth University

The farming community comprise a large proportion of the rural population.  Despite increasing health and safety procedures accidents on farms continues to be a leading cause of concern for this community. The aim of this research is to identify and develop an understanding of how young farmers within Wales perceive Health & Safety within the agriculture sector, how they foresee it developing in the future, and how the current behaviour and culture of young farmers may affect the future progression of health and safety in rural areas. We also aim to identify factors that may highlight a greater risk of injury and negative safety issues for young people in the agricultural industry.

If you are from the farming community and are interested in contributing to this research you can complete the online survey by following this link https://yfc-safety.ibers.aber.ac.uk/


How can theatre for young audiences address mental health issues amongst young people in rural communities.

Researcher: Alaw Gwyn Rossington  (PhD student) Theatre Film and Television studies. Aberystwyth University
Supervisors: Dr Elin Haf Jones Theatre Film and Television studies, Aberystwyth University
External collaborators: Cwmni Arad Goch (Welsh youth theatre organisation).