Self-reported health outcomes associated with green-renovated public housing among primarily elderly residents

Jill Breysse, Sherry L. Dixon, David E. Jacobs, Jorge Lopez, William Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Assess the benefits of green renovation on self-reported health of primarily elderly residents of a low-income public housing apartment building. Design and Setting: Using questions from the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey, we interviewed residents at baseline and 1 year after green renovation of their 101-unit building in Mankato, Minnesota, comparing self-reported mental and physical health outcomes of 2 sets of residents (all-ages: median, 66 years, n = 40; elder: median, 72 years, n=22) with outcomes for 2 same-aged low-income Minnesota comparison groups taken from Medicare Health Outcomes Survey participants (n=40 and 572, respectively). Participants: Study group: Mankato apartment building residents. Interventions: Green renovation including building envelope restoration; new heating, electrical, and ventilation systems; air sealing; new insulation and exterior cladding; window replacement; Energy-Star fixtures and appliances; asbestos and mold abatement; apartment gut retrofits; low volatile organic chemical and moisture-resistant materials; exercise enhancements; and indoor no-smoking policy. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported health status including Activities of Daily Living and Veteran's Rand 12 (VR-12) survey results; housing condition visual assessment; indoor environmental sampling; and building performance testing. Results: The all-ages study group's mental health improved significantly more than the comparison group's mental health on the basis of mean number of good mental health days in the past month (P =.026) and mean VR-12 mental component score (P =.023). Sixteen percent fewer all-ages study group people versus 8% more comparison group people reported falls (P =.055). The elder study group's 9% improvement in general physical health was not statistically significantly better than the elder comparison group's decline (6%) (P = 0.094). Significantly fewer people in the all-ages group reported smoke in their apartments because of tobacco products (20% vs 0%, P =.005), likely reflecting the new no-smoking policy. Conclusions: Green healthy housing renovation may result in improved mental and general physical health, prevented falls, and reduced exposure to tobacco smoke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

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Public Housing
Mental Health
Age Groups
Health
Veterans
Medicare
Health Surveys
Smoke
Smoking
Organic Chemicals
Asbestos
Activities of Daily Living
Tobacco Products
Heating
Health Status
Tobacco
Ventilation
Fungi
Air
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

Keywords

  • Elderly
  • Enterprise Green Community Criteria
  • Healthy housing
  • Medicare Health Outcomes Survey
  • Mental health

Cite this

Self-reported health outcomes associated with green-renovated public housing among primarily elderly residents. / Breysse, Jill; Dixon, Sherry L.; Jacobs, David E.; Lopez, Jorge; Weber, William.

In: Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Vol. 21, No. 4, 01.09.2015, p. 355-367.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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