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Author Turunen, Mari ♦ Paanala, Ari ♦ Villman, Juha ♦ Nevalainen, Aino ♦ Haverinen-Shaughnessy, Ulla
Source Paperity
Content type Text
Publisher BioMed Central
File Format PDF ♦ HTM / HTML
Copyright Year ©2010
Abstract Background Typically housing and health surveys are not integrated together and therefore are not representative of population health or national housing stocks. In addition, the existing channels for distributing information about housing and health issues to the general public are limited. The aim of this study was to develop a data collection and response system that would allow us to assess the Finnish housing stock from the points of view of quality, health and safety, and also to provide a tool to distribute information about important housing health and safety issues. Methods The data collection and response system was tested with a sample of 3000 adults (one per household), who were randomly selected from the Finnish Population Register Centre. Spatial information about the exact location of the residences (i.e. coordinates) was included in the database inquiry. People could participate either by completing and returning a paper questionnaire or by completing the same questionnaire via the Internet. The respondents did not receive any compensation for their time in completing the questionnaire. Results This article describes the data collection and response system and presents the main results of the population-based testing of the system. A total of 1312 people (response rate 44%) answered the questionnaire, though only 80 answered via the Internet. A third of the respondents had indicated they wanted feedback. Albeit a majority (>90%) of the respondents reported being satisfied or quite satisfied with their residence, there were a number of prevalent housing issues identified that can be related to health and safety. Conclusions The collected database can be used to evaluate the quality of the housing stock in terms of occupant health and safety, and to model its association with occupant health and well-being. However, it must be noted that all the health outcomes gathered in this study are self-reported. A follow-up study is needed to evaluate whether the occupants acted on the feedback they received. Relying solely on an Internet-based questionnaire for collecting data would not appear to provide an adequate response rate for random population-based surveys at this point in time.
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2010-11-12
e-ISSN 1476069X
Journal Environmental Health
Issue Number 9