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Mental health and quality of residential environment

  • Hollie Thomas (a1), Nikki Weaver (a1), Joanne Patterson (a1), Phil Jones (a1), Truda Bell (a1), Rebecca Playle (a1), Frank Dunstan (a1), Stephen Palmer (a2), Glyn Lewis (a3) and Ricardo Araya (a4)...

Abstract

Background

There is increasing interest in the proposition that residential environment can affect mental health.

Aims

To study the degree to which common mental disorder clusters according to postcode units and households. To investigate whether contextual measures of residential environment quality and geographical accessibility are associated with symptoms of common mental disorder.

Method

A total of 1058 individuals aged 16–75 years (response rate 66%) participated in a cross-sectional survey The 12-item General Health Questionnaire measured symptoms of common mental disorder.

Results

Only 2% (95% CI 0–6) of the unexplained variation in symptoms existed at postcode unit level, whereas 37% (95% CI 27–49) existed at household-level, but the postcode unit variation was reduced to zero after adjustments. There was little evidence to suggest that residential quality or accessibility were associated with symptoms.

Conclusions

There was substantial unexplained variation at the household level but we could find no evidence of postcode unit variation and no association with residential environmental quality or geographical accessibility. It is likely that the psychosocial environment is more important than the physical environment in relation to common mental disorder.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Professor Glyn Lewis, Division of Psychiatry, University of Bristol, Cotham House, Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JL, UK. Tel: +44(0)117 954 6796; fax: +44(0)117 954 6672; email: Glyn.Lewis@bristol.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Mental health and quality of residential environment

  • Hollie Thomas (a1), Nikki Weaver (a1), Joanne Patterson (a1), Phil Jones (a1), Truda Bell (a1), Rebecca Playle (a1), Frank Dunstan (a1), Stephen Palmer (a2), Glyn Lewis (a3) and Ricardo Araya (a4)...

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