Evaluating the impacts on health outcomes of Welsh Government funded schemes designed to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low income households. IJPDS (2017) Issue 1, Vol 1:307 Proceedings of the IPDLN Conference (August 2016)

Main Article Content

Sian Morrison-Rees
Sarah Lowe
Martin Heaven
Published online: Apr 19, 2017


ABSTRACT

Background

Living in a cold and/or damp house is known to increase the risk of morbidity, mortality and excess winter deaths. To reduce fuel poverty and its adverse health effects in Wales the Welsh Government developed programmes to improve the energy efficiency of homes. These included the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) and subsequent Warm Homes NEST scheme. Both schemes supported those most likely to be affected by fuel poverty, including low income and vulnerable households from 2000 to 2015. The energy efficiency measures provided included insulation and heating upgrades, such as a more efficient boiler.


Aim
The overall aim of the project is to evaluate the health impacts of Welsh Government funded schemes designed to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low income households through the use of existing data (HEES and NEST linked to the routine health records held in the SAIL Databank at Swansea University).


Methods
A longitudinal dataset was created using the anonymised residential dwelling that has received home energy efficiency improvements linked to a summary of their health measures (hospital admissions, reason for the admission, GP prescriptions and clinical diagnoses).


Cohorts will be constructed of people who have already received the intervention to compare those who have not yet received the intervention but who went on to receive it two years later. We will use a stepped wedge design to construct an intervention and control cohort for each year of the study period. We will apply statistical techniques to conduct difference in difference (DID) estimations. This will allow us to compare any changes in the health of people before and after the intervention with any concurrent change in health in those who may require, but have yet to receive, the intervention.


Results
We anticipate concluding the analysis in June in order for the results to inform the redesign of the successor scheme to Warm Homes NEST, due to be consulted on during 2016 and in place from April 2017. Our results will compare specific interventions for their impacts on health. We will show whether particular population groups e.g. those suffering from particular health condition, gain particular benefit from interventions.


Conclusion
Our findings have the potential to inform more effectively focussed home energy efficiency schemes in order to reduce the numbers of people living in fuel poverty and thus improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Wales.


Objectives

To serve the emerging multidisciplinary skills and capacity building needs of Population Health Researchers within a rapidly diversifying field.

Population Health Research is inherently interdisciplinary, multifaceted and firmly rooted in the evolving connections between place, time and related socioeconomic processes. To excel in this rapidly diversifying field, individuals require a broad range of multidisciplinary skills. Supporting the development of these skills through innovative training platforms is one key way to build capacity for emerging 21 Century researchers and health professionals.

Approach

Establishment of an innovative research training platform that supports skill development in a timely, collaborative and practiced based environment

The growing importance of data analytics and spatial thinking as it pertains to the worlds growing health concerns, be they social, physical or environmental - demands approaches that serve real time and remotely accessed, exploratory and highly collaborative research environments. A case example will be provided concerning a tri-party training platform that is serving the multidisciplinary skill requirements of new and mid-career population health professionals. Designed in collaboration with a tri-university research platform, the innovative, practice-based training environment both mirrors and supports many of the day to day skill development needs of health and social science researchers.

Results

The multidisciplinary focus of this specialized training platform is successfully addressing the skill development needs of a diverse cross section of health research professionals.

Trainees are bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with their online colleagues, supporting a rich, practice based education and skills development environment. Those enrolled in the program possess backgrounds ranging from Population and Public Health, Epidemiology, Statistics and Sociology to Medicine to Psychology, Geography, Biostatistics and International Health.

Conclusion

Providing timely, practical, hands-on analytic skills training is critical to building the capacity of new and mid-career researchers and health professionals.

Direct application of these new skills is an essential outcome and best measure of success. We are listening to our trainees and learning as we grow.\\

Read what trainees are saying about our certificate courses https://www.popdata.bc.ca/etu/testimonials/PHDA

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