A qualitative case study of interventions in housing

Housing interventions studyWhy do local authorities sometimes undertake controlled evaluations of health impact?  

Taking housing as a case study, this qualitative study explored the factors that contribute to successful evaluative research in the non-health sector. There have been many calls for more evaluative evidence on the upstream determinants of health, with a consequent focus on the barriers to the production (and uptake) of research evidence.  Whilst this literature has been useful in outlining the challenges in collaborative research, this study sought to move this forward and focus on why evaluations do happen.


Rationale & Aim

Whilst the barriers to generating, and utilising, evaluative evidence have been well aired there has been rather less attention paid to when, how and why things work.  Some evaluative studies do get undertaken, and successful collaborations between academic research and policy or provider organisations are possible.  Using housing as a case study, this study aimed to identify what factors might facilitate the development of the evidence base on the effectiveness of interventions on the upstream determinants of health by focusing specifically on success, rather than failure.  By interviewing investigators and collaborators who had been involved in controlled studies of interventions in housing, we aimed to identify the necessary and sufficient factors contributing to successfully completing an evaluation.


For this study a range of professionals involved with collaborative research on controlled evaluations were undertaken, including public health specialists, academics, local authority employees and national authority employees.


March 2013 – March 2014

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