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Title: A natural experiment to evaluate the effect of change in the built environment on self-reported mental health and well-being
Author: Ram, Bina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 5192
Awarding Body: St George's, University of London
Current Institution: St George's, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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Evidence suggests that the local built environment might be an important determinant of common mental disorders and well-being, especially among the socio-economically disadvantaged. The Examining Neighbourhood Activities in Built Living Environments in London (ENABLE London) study, an observational natural experiment, provided a unique opportunity to examine the effect of change in the built environment on self- reported depression, anxiety and well-being. East Village (formerly the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Athletes’ Village), designed to encourage healthy living, provides social, intermediate, and market-rent housing. Adults seeking to move into East Village were recruited and examined at baseline, and followed-up two-years later; half the cohort had moved to East Village, half had not. The overall aim of this thesis is to examine whether moving to East Village improved mental health and well-being compared with those who did not move. Specific aims examined baseline cross-sectional differences in mental health, well-being and neighbourhood perceptions across the three housing tenures, and within-person change in these outcomes at follow-up among those who had moved to East Village compared with those who had not. Questionnaires were completed by 1278 adults at baseline; the social housing group reported poorer mental health and well-being, and negative neighbourhood perceptions compared with other housing groups. At follow-up, 877 (69%) adults were examined; mental health and well­being were generally in the direction of improved change for the East Village group compared with controls, but results were not formally statistically significant except for a modest change of improved in life satisfaction for intermediate participants. However, across all housing tenures in the East Village group, there were marked improvements in neighbourhood perceptions. After two-years, whilst no consistent effects were observed in mental health and well-being, it remains plausible that improved change in neighbourhood perceptions may take longer to have beneficial effects on these outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available