Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/31480
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Housing as a social determinant of health and wellbeing: developing an empirically-informed realist theoretical framework
Author(s): Rolfe, Steve
Garnham, Lisa
Godwin, Jon
Anderson, Isobel
Seaman, Pete
Donaldson, Cam
Keywords: Housing, Health, Social determinants, Causal mechanisms, Realist evaluation
Issue Date: Dec-2020
Citation: Rolfe S, Garnham L, Godwin J, Anderson I, Seaman P & Donaldson C (2020) Housing as a social determinant of health and wellbeing: developing an empirically-informed realist theoretical framework. BMC Public Health, 20, Art. No.: 1138. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09224-0
Abstract: Background The role of housing as a social determinant of health is well-established, but the causal pathways are poorly understood beyond the direct effects of physical housing defects. For low-income, vulnerable households there are particular challenges in creating a sense of home in a new tenancy which may have substantial effects on health and wellbeing. This study examines the role of these less tangible aspects of the housing experience for tenants in the social and private rented sectors in west central Scotland. Methods The paper analyses quantitative data from a mixed methods, longitudinal study of tenants from three housing organisations, collected across the first year of their tenancy. The paper postulates causal hypotheses on the basis of staff interviews and then uses a Realist Research approach to test and refine these into a theoretical framework for the connections between tenants’ broader experience of housing and their health and wellbeing. Results Housing service provision, tenants’ experience of property quality and aspects of neighbourhood are all demonstrated to be significantly correlated with measures of of health and wellbeing. Analysis of contextual factors provides additional detail within the theoretical framework, offering a basis for further empirical work. Conclusions The findings provide an empirically-informed realist theoretical framework for causal pathways connecting less tangible aspects of the housing experience to health and wellbeing. Applying this within housing policy and practice would facilitate a focus on housing as a public health intervention, with potential for significant impacts on the lives of low-income and vulnerable tenants. The framework also offers a basis for further research to refine our understanding of housing as a social determinant of health.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-020-09224-0
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Licence URL(s): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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