The longitudinal effects of neighbourhood social and material deprivation change on psychological distress in urban, community-dwelling Canadian adults

A Blair, G Gariépy, N Schmitz
Public Health 2015, 129 (7): 932-40

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess how longitudinal changes in neighbourhood material and social deprivation affect distress outcomes in adult Canadians.

STUDY DESIGN: This study used a prospective cohort approach.

METHODS: We paired data from 2745 urban participants of Canada's National Population Health Survey-who completed the Kessler 6-Item psychological distress screening tool at baseline and follow-up-with neighbourhood social and material deprivation data from the census-based Pampalon Deprivation Index. Data were paired using participants' postal code. We conducted multiple linear regression models, which were stratified by baseline deprivation level and controlled for key confounders.

RESULTS: Most participants lived in neighbourhoods that did not change drastically in social or material deprivation level during the six years between baseline and follow-up. We found that a worsening of material settings was significantly associated with worsening distress scores at follow-up. This finding is discussed in the context of existing literature, and made relevant for urban health research and policy.

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