It is well established that seeking help for health reasons can take longer and be more complicated in remote areas such as the Outer Hebrides.
Now Lews Castle College UHI is launching a new project to assess how the pandemic has impacted on people in remote areas in Scotland when it comes to seeking help for physical problems.
There is growing concern that, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be an increase in the number of deaths that could be avoided from illnesses like cancer or heart disease.
It is feared that this could disproportionately impact on those living in rural communities.
Researchers want to understand what influences people when deciding whether to seek help for health worries, and to understand what people feel are barriers to seeking professional guidance.
Knowing this, they say, will help to inform public health messages and help design better access to healthcare services.
Project leader Dr Gareth Davies said: “Our research and innovation activity is centered in our communities and we use our expertise to collaborate and engage with national and international projects and initiatives. It is essential that our work reflects the needs of our local communities.
“This project seeks to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the way people seek help for physical symptoms. This can affect peoples’ health and their ability to work and contribute to the local and regional economy.”
People are currently being sought to take part in the research. To find out more about the project and how you can take part, visit www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/research/harp-cov-help-seeking-among-rural-populations