Material and meaningful homes: mental health impacts and psychosocial benefits of rehousing to new dwellings

Kearns, A., Whitley, E., Mason, P., Petticrew, M. and Hoy, C. (2011) Material and meaningful homes: mental health impacts and psychosocial benefits of rehousing to new dwellings. International Journal of Public Health, 56(6), pp. 597-607. (doi:10.1007/s00038-011-0275-3)

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Abstract

Objective: To establish whether rehousing people to new dwellings had impacts upon residents’ mental health and psychosocial benefits derived from the home.

Methods: A prospective controlled study across Scotland involving 723 householders (334 intervention; 389 control). Interviews were carried out just prior to the move, and 2 years thereafter.

Results: Changes in self-reported psychosocial benefits were greater than changes in mental health. Respondents in family households appeared to have gained the most and those in older person households the least. For those in families, the most consistent effects flowed from improvements in space, privacy and change of location; for those in adult-only households, improvements in crime and safety mattered most. Gains in psychosocial benefits were associated with improved mental health (SF-36) scores.

Conclusions: Rehousing has substantial impacts on residential conditions and on psychosocial benefits, and lesser (possibly indirect) impacts upon mental health. Housing is a complex intervention applied to a heterogeneous group for a range of reasons. Hence its impacts result from different aspects of residential change for particular types of household.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mason, Dr Philip and Whitley, Dr Elise and Kearns, Professor Ade
Authors: Kearns, A., Whitley, E., Mason, P., Petticrew, M., and Hoy, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:International Journal of Public Health
ISSN:1661-8556
ISSN (Online):1661-8564

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