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The Impact of Social Capital on Unusual Health Outcomes in Dallas and Sumter Counties in Alabama: An Exploration




Buys, David

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Access to health care and the quality of that care is persistently a problem in communities both the United States and abroad. There are basic demographic factors generally used to predict health quality in all communities. Such factors were found to not reliably predict better health outcomes in Dallas County over Sumter County, Alabama, however. This study uses the concept of social capital to make sense of the unusual outcomes by examining the quality of relationships that health care practitioners have with their patients and the general perceptions about the health care structures in participants’ respective counties. Findings indicate that health quality is significantly impacted by the investment of health care practitioners (social capital) in the communities where they practice.