Housing, Insulation and Health Study (HIHS)
In six communities we will seek out households where someone who has a history of respiratory problems. For the first winter we will measure temperature and humidity of the house and health of occupants. We will insulate half the houses and the next winter compare them with the uninsulated houses to see if warmer houses improve health.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
|Official Title:||The Impact of Insulating Domestic Houses on the Health of Occupants: an Intervention Study|
- Self reported general health, During the first winter post intervention
- Indoor temperature and relative humidity, During the first winter post intervention
- Energy consumption, During the first winter post intervention
- Wheezing, During the first winter post intervention
- Days off school and work, During the first winter post intervention
- GP visits, During the first winter post intervention
- Inpatient hospital admissions, During the first winter post intervention
|Study Start Date:||July 2001|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||December 2002|
Damp, cold indoor environments are bad for the health of people who live in them, particularly if they have respiratory problems or are vulnerable, such as the young or the very old. This is a community based study designed to test the hypothesis that insulating domestic houses will make them warmer and that this increase in indoor temperature will improve their health and wellbeing.
Following two pilot studies, the first among older people in city council flats and the second among home owners in Waitara. We have followed the "Waitara model" where community networks will be mobilised to identify households in each community where there is someone with a on going respiratory problem. Seven communities have been selected to help test these hypotheses and have agreed to participate Otara, Gisborne, Mahia/Nuhaka, Taranaki, Porirua, West Coast and Christchurch. Low income areas with high Maori populations have been deliberately selected to maximise the potential health gains.
Two hundred houses in each community will be insulated free of charge to the occupants. The workers who will insulate the homes will be local people employed through the Department of Work and Income (WINZ).
Once the houesholds are selected they will be randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. During the first winter, all 1400 households will be monitored for temperature and humidity and their comfort, health and healthcare utilization will be recorded. Half the households, assigned to the intervention group, will be fully insulated during the spring. The following winter, all the initial measurements taken from both the intervention and control group will be repeated. At the end of the study period, all control houses will be insulated.
This study has developed from a natural intervention being carried out by the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) to insulate domestic houses in New Zealand and is a major collaborative effort, which will shed light on the effectiveness of insulation in improving health and wellbeing. The impact of housing refurbishment on health has not previously been examined. There is considerable government and policy interest in promoting healthy housing and there is strong community interest in ensuring the housing stock is improved in order to lower health risks.
|Otara Health Inc|
|Otara, Auckland, New Zealand|
|Te Wahine O Kahungungu|
|Mahia/Nuhaka, East Coast, New Zealand|
|Te Iwi O Rakaipaaka|
|Mahia/Nuhaka, East Coast, New Zealand|
|Opotiki Trade Training|
|Opotiki, Gisborne, New Zealand|
|Te Puni Kokiri|
|New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand|
|Porirua Housing Action Group|
|Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Maori Womans Welfare League|
|Rata - Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand|
|Crown Public Health|
|Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Study Director:||Philippa L Howden-Chapman, PhD||University of Otago|
|Principal Investigator:||Julian Crane, FRCP||University of Otago|
|Principal Investigator:||Michael G Baker, FRACMA||University of Otago|
|Principal Investigator:||Chris Cunningham, PhD||Massey University|
|Principal Investigator:||Kay Saville-Smith, MA Hons||CRESA|
|Principal Investigator:||Nick Waipara, PhD||Landcare Research Limited|
|Principal Investigator:||Alistair Woodward, PhD||University of Otago|
|Principal Investigator:||Des O'Dea, BSc Hons||University of Otago|
|Principal Investigator:||Tony Blakely, PhD||University of Otago|
|Principal Investigator:||Cheryl Brunton, FAFPHM||University of Otago|