Article Text

PDF
Evaluation of the health impact of an urban regeneration policy: Neighbourhood Renewal in Northern Ireland
  1. Gretta Mohan1,2,3,
  2. Alberto Longo2,3,4,
  3. Frank Kee1,2
  1. 1 Centre for Public Health, Queen's School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland, Queen's University Belfast, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, UK
  3. 3 Gibson Institute, Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Medical Biology Centre, Belfast, UK
  4. 4 Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), The University of the Basque Country, Leioa Bilbao, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Gretta Mohan, UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland, Queen's University Belfast, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Grosvenor Road, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, BT12 6BA, UK; gmohan03{at}qub.ac.uk

Abstract

Background Neighbourhood Renewal (NR) was launched in Northern Ireland (NI) in 2003 to revive the social, economic and physical fabric of 36 deprived communities, characterised by a legacy of sectarian conflict. This study evaluates the impact of the policy on health over a decade.

Methods A merged panel of secondary data from the British Household Panel Survey (2001–2008) and Understanding Society (2009–2012) yields longitudinal information on respondents for 12 years.

We conducted a controlled before and after investigation for NR intervention areas (NRAs) and three control groups—two groups of comparably deprived areas that did not receive assistance and the rest of NI. Linear difference-in-difference regression was used to identify the impact of NR on mental health, self-rated health, life satisfaction, smoking and exercise. Subgroup analysis was conducted for males and females, higher and lower educated, retired, unemployed and home owner groups.

Results NR did not have a discernible impact on mental distress. A small, non-significant trend towards a reduction in the gap of good self-rated health and life satisfaction between NRAs and controls was observed. A 10% increase in probability of rating life as satisfying was uncovered for retirees in NRAs compared with the rest of NI. Smoking in NRAs declined on par with people from control areas, so a NR influence was not obvious. A steady rise in undertaking weekly exercise in NRAs compared with controls was not statistically significant.

Conclusions Area-based initiatives may not achieve health gains beyond mainstream service provision, though they may safeguard against widening of health disparities.

  • neighborhood/place
  • deprivation
  • policy
  • health inequalities
  • longitudinal studies

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Contributors GM, AL and FK designed the study. GM collated the data and conducted data analysis. GM drafted the paper. All authors contributed to interpreting results, revised the draft and approved the final version.

  • Funding GM was funded by Medical Research Council PhD Studentship (1510980). This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data used in this study are available through the UK Data Archive (http://data-archive.ac.uk/).

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.