Topic: The healthy island. A case study about involving small-island citizens in the evaluation of local healthcare in Italy
Keywords: qualitative research, small island, health risk factors, empowerment, theory of change.
In 2016, the regional administration of Tuscany (Italy) has implemented a project aimed at improving healthcare in difficult-to-reach areas throughout the regional territory. In particular, the project, named Optimisation of health care in smaller islands and in places with exceptional difficulties, which was funded by the regional administration and implemented by the local health system, has improved the level of assistance and territorial healthcare while aiming to increase population empowerment.
This paper describes the results of the evaluative process for the research focusing on the main actions implemented at Giglio Island, a small island populated by about 1400 inhabitants located in the Tuscan Archipelago. This work analyses the main aspects of the outcomes of the project. In particular, the paper analyses the evidence of the explorative process in the light of the theories of change and stability about how the population of the island perceives the health care services.
The qualitative approach adopted, based on a series of focus groups, observations and questionnaires, and the use of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis has allowed to analyse the data collected and to focus on key aspects such as the health risk factors and the sense of community as perceived by the inhabitants.