The Healthy Public Housing Initiative-Environmental Assessment Survey: validation; analysis of leaks, moisture and mold; and public policy implications
Welker-Hood, Laura Kristen
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The Healthy Public Housing Initiative-Environmental Assessment Survey (HPHI-EAS) is an interviewer-administered instrument that measures indoor environmental residential conditions of multi-unit public housing developments on area, building, and apartment levels. It also collects information on household health status for respiratory and allergy conditions as well as experienced symptom over the preceding 30 days by the survey respondent. The aim ofthis study is to assess the validity and reliability attributes of the HPHI-EAS. Statistical analyses include principal component factor analysis, internal consistency estimations, Wilcoxon Rank Sum test, and correlation analyses related to construct validity. Results showed support for the validity and reliability of 7 separate exposure and health dimensions. Numerous scales were generated so that these more sensitive indices could be substituted into future associational analyses exploring the relationship between deteriorating housing conditions and health. The Healthy Public Housing Initiative-Environmental Assessment Survey (HPHI-EAS) was administered to 238 residents in two separate multi-unit US public housing developments. Analysis focused on resident reports of exposure to water damage, condensation, and mold as well as symptoms experienced in the preceding 30 days. Patterns of water damage, moisture, and mold in renovated and un-renovated housing were examined by comparing frequencies of occurrence and chi-square statistics. Four separate logistic regression models for each symptom outcome examined the ability of these four indices to predict symptom outcomes. Un-renovated housing had significantly more home dampness than housing having received exterior roof, building envelop, insulation, and plumbing repair. Sources of leaks contribute differently to deteriorating housing conditions. Outside source leaks are more associated with the development of mold in a residence. Water damage, moisture and mold exposures significantly increase the odds of sick building type symptoms and upper respiratory track problems. Controlling sources of leaks and preventing mold growth in multi-unit buildings would significantly improve the health of both asthmatic and non-asthmatic residents.
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