Welcome to week 6! I hope everyone’s projects are going well.
As I said last week, I spent part of this week looking at the technological barriers in rural areas that would prevent them from accessing telehealth. After collecting data from the National Center of Education, I found that the average percentage of households that had internet access in the urban states I had collected was 80% compared to 75% in rural states. On average, urban states had more households with internet access than rural states.
This brings an interesting yet frustrating contradiction in my analysis and results. I have found that urban states had more reports of intimate partner violence(IPV) but that could just be because rural households were not able to report it due to lack of technology. In addition, if there is a technology barrier, then people in rural populations may not have been able to complete the online mental health questionnaires distributed by the CDC and the Kaiser Family Foundation. This leads me to question if there was really an urban-rural divide in mental health during the pandemic or the difference is just due to technology barriers. There was definitely a divide in urban and rural populations with internet access. I also wonder if the difference between 75% and 80% is big enough to impact the conclusions I have already made.
Somewhat unrelated to my project, something else exciting that happened this week is that I was able to shadow a doctor of internal medicine and attend in-person and virtual appointments. Although I am not allowed to talk about the patients or their information for confidentiality reasons, I did enjoy learning about different conditions and seeing how health and medicine have changed because of the pandemic. Shadowing helped further my interest in psychology and medicine and I hopefully learned some skills that I can implement in this project.
I will see you all next week!