Towards a more place-sensitive nursing research: an invitation to medical and health geography
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During recent years, nursing research has adopted and integrated perspectives and theoretical frameworks from a range of social science disciplines. I argue however, that a lack of attention has been paid in past research to the subdiscipline of medical geography. Although this may, in part, be attributed to a divergence between research priorities and foci, traditional 'scientific' geographical approaches may still be relevant to a wide range of nursing research. Furthermore, a recasting, redirecting and broadening of medical geography in the 1990s, towards what is termed health geography, has enhanced the discipline and provided a more cultural and expansive recognition of health, and a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamic relationship between people, health and place. Given the increasing range of places where health-care is provided and received, and some recent linkages made between nursing and place by nurse-theorists, these newer perspectives and concepts may be particularly useful for interpreting nurses' and patients' relationships both within and with a variety of healthcare settings and living spaces. Indeed, although a more place-sensitive nursing research is potentially a trans-disciplinary academic endeavor, a range of geographical approaches would be central to such a project.
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