Physical and mental health outcomes following housing improvements: evidence from the GoWell Study

Curl, A., Kearns, A., Mason, P., Egan, M., Tannahill, C. and Ellaway, A. (2015) Physical and mental health outcomes following housing improvements: evidence from the GoWell Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 69(1), pp. 12-19. (doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204064) (PMID:25205160)

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Abstract

Background: Existing research points towards physical and mental health gains from housing improvements, but findings are inconsistent and often not statistically significant. The detailed characteristics and variability of housing improvement works are problematic and studies are often small, not experimental, with short follow-up times. Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used to assess the impact on physical health and mental health (using SF-12v2 Physical and Mental health component summary scales) of four types of housing improvement works—central heating, ‘Secured By Design’ front doors, fabric works, kitchens and bathrooms—both singly and in pairwise combinations. A longitudinal sample of 1933 residents from 15 deprived communities in Glasgow, UK was constructed from surveys carried out in 2006, 2008 and 2011. Sociodemographic characteristics and changes in employment status were taken into account. Results: Fabric works had positive associations with physical health (+2.09, 95% CI 0.13 to 4.04) and mental health (+1.84, 95% CI 0.04 to 3.65) in 1–2 years. Kitchens and bathrooms had a positive association with mental health in 1–2 years (+2.58, 95% CI 0.79 to 4.36). Central heating had a negative association with physical health (−2.21, 95% CI −3.74 to −0.68). New front doors had a positive association with mental health in <1 year (+5.89, 95% CI 0.65 to 11.14) and when provided alongside kitchens and bathrooms (+4.25, 95% CI 1.71 to 6.80). Gaining employment had strong associations with physical health (+7.14, 95% CI 4.72 to 9.55) as well as mental health (+5.50, 95% CI 3.27 to 7.73). Conclusions: Fabric works may provide insulation benefits and visual amenity benefits to residents. Front doors may provide important security benefits in deprived communities. Economic regeneration is important alongside property-led regeneration.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Curl, Dr Angela and Kearns, Professor Ade and Egan, Dr Matthew and Tannahill, Dr Carol and Ellaway, Dr Anne and Mason, Dr Philip
Authors: Curl, A., Kearns, A., Mason, P., Egan, M., Tannahill, C., and Ellaway, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0143-005X
ISSN (Online):1470-2738
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 BMJ Publishing Group
First Published:First published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 69(1):12-19
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727621SPHSU Core Renewal: Neighbourhoods and Communities Research ProgrammeAnne EllawayMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/10IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU