Housing Interventions and Control of Injury-Related Structural Deficiencies: A Review of the Evidence

DiGuiseppi, Carolyn MD, MPH, PhD; Jacobs, David E. PhD, CIH; Phelan, Kieran J. MD, MSc; Mickalide, Angela D. PhD, CHES; Ormandy, David

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: September/October 2010 - Volume 16 - Issue 5 - p S34–S43
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181e28b10
Review of Housing Interventions

Subject matter experts systematically reviewed evidence on the effectiveness of housing interventions that affect safety and injury outcomes, such as falls, fire-related injuries, burns, drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning, heat-related deaths, and noise-related harm, associated with structural housing deficiencies. Structural deficiencies were defined as those deficiencies for which a builder, landlord, or homeowner would take responsibility (ie, design, construction, installation, repair, monitoring). Three of the 17 interventions reviewed had sufficient evidence for implementation: installed, working smoke alarms; 4-sided isolation pool fencing; and preset safe hot water temperature. Five interventions needed more field evaluation, 8 needed formative research, and 1 was found to be ineffective. This evidence review shows that housing improvements are likely to help reduce burns and scalds, drowning in pools, and fire-related deaths and injuries.

The article reviews housing interventions and control of injury-related structural deficiencies, as well as housing improvements that are likely to help reduce burns and scalds, drowning in pools, and fire-related deaths and injuries.

Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Injury Control Research Center, Colorado State University, Fort Collins (Dr DiGuiseppi); National Center for Healthy Housing, Columbia, Maryland (Dr Jacobs); Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, and Cincinnati Children's Environmental Health Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Phelan); Home Safety Council, Washington, District of Columbia (Dr Mickalide); and Institute of Health, School of Health and Social Studies, and WHO Collaborating Centre for Housing Standards and Health, Warwick University, Coventry, England (Professor Ormandy).

Correspondence: Carolyn DiGuiseppi, MD, MPH, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver, 13001 E 17th Pl, Campus Box B-119, Aurora, CO 80045 (Carolyn.DiGuiseppi@ucdenver.edu).

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of, nor have they been officially endorsed by, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This work was supported by a cooperative grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention, and the National Center for Healthy Housing.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.