Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Health impact assessment of housing improvements: incorporating research evidence

Resource/Evaluation type


Subject area



United Kingdom - 2003

This article presents a way in which research can be used to support evidence-based HIA in the housing sector. It is based on a consultation with policymakers and HIA practitioners and a systematic review of the literature. The authors develop a table of synthesised findings with the expected health effects of specific housing improvements. They also review observational data of housing-associated health risks to highlight the key impacts to consider when doing a HIA in the housing sector.
The article underlines that, as well as reviewing the published literature, the HIA process must consider the local relevance of research. Consultation with local stakeholders should also be incorporated into the final assessment.
In practice, lack of data and difficulties in gathering and reviewing data mean that not all HIAs will be able to rest on published evidence. Well conducted prospective validation may help in improving the quality and usability of HIAs in this sector.

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Author(s) and Email

Hilary Thomson, Mark Petticrew, Margaret Douglas
E-mail: Hilary[at]

Owner contact details

MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
4 Lilybank Gardens
Glasgow G12 8RZ, UK