Factors which nurture geographical resilience in Britain: a mixed methods study

Mitchell, R., Gibbs, J., Tunstall, H., Platt, S.D. and Dorling, D. (2009) Factors which nurture geographical resilience in Britain: a mixed methods study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 63(1), pp. 18-23. (doi:10.1136/jech.2007.072058)

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Abstract

OBECTIVES: To identify plausible mechanisms by which resilience (low mortality rates despite persistent economic adversity) was achieved in some areas in Britain between 1971 and 2001 METHODS: Mixed method observational study, combining quantitative analyses of cause and age group specific mortality rates, and area socio-demographic and environmental characteristics, with case studies of resilient areas which included in-depth interviews. RESULTS: The causes of death, and age groups, contributing most to resilience varied markedly between the 18 resilient areas; since disease aetiology varies, a range of protective processes must be in operation. Four area characteristics, which plausibly contributed to resilience, emerged from the in-depth interviews: population composition; retaining or attracting population; environment and housing; and social cohesion. Quantitative analyses demonstrated significant difference between resilient and non-resilient areas in retaining or attracting population only. CONCLUSIONS: Whilst we identified plausible area characteristics through which resilience was achieved, there does not appear to be a definitive set which reliably produces resilience, and resilient and non-resilient areas did not differ significantly in their possession of most of these characteristics. If such characteristics do have a role in creating resilience, but are present both in resilient and non-resilient areas, further work is needed to explore what makes them 'successful' in some areas, but not in others.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Richard
Authors: Mitchell, R., Gibbs, J., Tunstall, H., Platt, S.D., and Dorling, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Centre for Population and Health Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0143-005X
ISSN (Online):1470-2738

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