Background. Over the past 15 years or so, in Vietnam, a phenomenon has steadily grown more and more widespread: the forming of co-located patients communities. Poor patients choose to live together, seeking/lending supports from/to one another. Despite the undeniable existence of these communities, little is researched or known about how co-located patients perceive the value of what they receive as cluster members, or how they assess their future connection to the communities they are living in.
Materials and Methods. The study employs multiple logistic regressions method to investigate relationships between factors such as perceived satisfaction from community-provided financial means, reported health improvements, along with patients’ shortand longer-term commitments to these communities.
Results. The results suggest meaningful empirical relationships: 1) between, on one hand, gender, perceived values and sustainability of patients communities, financial stress faced by patients and the financial benefits they received from the community, and, on the other hand, their propensity to stay connected to it; and 2) between economic conditions, length of stay with a community, general level of satisfaction, health improvements on one hand and long-term commitment to these communities on the other hand.
Conclusions. Patients who choose to stick to co-location clusters do so for an economic reason: finding means to fight their financial hardship. This may suggest a degree of complication higher than one would have thought in dealing with poor patients from a social point of view. Concretely, the majority of the public only focuses on charity programs and in-king donations, while ignoring the more sustainable – and, at the same time, more complicated – alternative which is to create suitable income-generating jobs for patient. In addition, patients are not only those who seek to ask for supports but can potentially be the donors contributing to the sustainability of those voluntary communities.
Voluntary communities, Co-location clusters, Financial benefits, Low-income countries, Vietnam