Hospital choice for surgery affects both patient outcomes
and hospital viability, a greater understanding of rural
patients' surgical care-seeking behavior could enhance
rural health and rural hospital financial stability.
Specifically, insight on modifiable determinants of
care-seeking behavior can inform policies to promote
behavior that is consistent with evidence-based public
health recommendations (e.g., undergoing common, low-risk
surgeries at local hospitals and undergoing complex,
high-risk surgeries at high-volume hospitals). Although
previous research has examined rural surgical
care-seeking behavior, to date, there is no published
comprehensive scoping review of the literature. The
purpose of this scoping review was to identify literature
describing determinants of hospital choice among rural
patients seeking elective surgery.