This research sets out to identify the health problems reported by patients living in poorer neighborhoods of Antwerp and their housing situation
Housing is a multi-dimensional concept that encompasses the characteristics of the house (physical structure and design); home (social and psychological features); and neighborhood (physical and social characteristics, and local services). The central influence of housing on people’s lives raises the possibility that housing could act as a pathway through which social and economic determinants of health influence population health.
Numerous studies have found that residents of poor neighborhoods suffer a diverse set of poorer health outcomes than those in richer neighborhoods. Yet, remains unclear to what degree this association can be attributed to illness caused by poorer housing.
In five districts of Antwerp namely Antwerpen-Noord, Antwerpen-Zuid, Deurne, Borgerhout and Hoboken, there is a wide variation of housing tenures, population density, number of social residences, neglected accommodations and the proportions of owners and renters. Healthcare workers actively involved in these neighborhoods (e.g. ‘Geneeskunde voor het Volk’) regularly meet patients with healthcare problems such as asthma, infections or chronic illnesses. In their experience, these diseases could be related to poor housing. However, to date, there is no clear evidence that healthcare problems of these patient groups living in these specific neighborhoods is actually influenced by poor housing.
A number of studies have demonstrated a relationship between general housing quality and self-reported measures of well-being bus demonstrating a causal relation to physical health in developed Western countries has been difficult for a number of reasons.
The purpose of this study is to identify the health problems reported by patients living in poorer neighborhoods of Antwerp and their housing situation. This inventory will form the basis for awareness campaigns, possible solutions and preventative strategies.
Researchers: Sarah Van Hoof, Hilde Maelstaf, Trui Maes, Yannic Bonnez, Peter Soogen & Sharon Schoeters