Published Papers - Abstract 179

Warner-Smith P, Bryson L & Byles J. The Big picture: The health and wellbeing of three generations of women in rural and remote areas of Australia. Health Sociology Review, 2004; 13(1): 15-26

For at least the last three decades, Australia has been experiencing profound economic and social changes which, it is argued, have resulted in a widening gap in health opportunities and outcomes between urban and rural areas. There are important health policy implications associated with these socio-cultural and demographic changes, and they are particularly relevant to women, who are greater users of the health care system, both as patients and carers, than are men. This paper draws on findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), a 20 year study of the health of 40,000 Australian women, to paint an overview of rural women's health and well-being in three age cohorts, including consideration of the divergent life course patterns among women and issues of inequality and inequity between rural and urban populations. The data presented here suggest that there is a need to integrate a thoroughly gendered approach not only into all analyses of spatial inequality but also the analysis of the distribution of and access to services.