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Rapid Evidence Review: Can Policies Targeting the Physical Structure of a Home Improve Health?

This rapid evidence review examines the current evidence on opportunities for improving health by modifying the physical structure of a home.

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Rapid Evidence Review

Policymakers are increasingly interested in understanding how housing and other social determinants of health affect the health of individuals and communities.

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This review, conducted by AcademyHealth’s Translation and Dissemination Institute, found evidence on housing interventions that suggests efforts to improve a building’s warmth and energy, prevent injury, reduce occupants’ exposure to chemical agents, and reduce asthma triggers are associated with improvements in general health, mental health, and/or respiratory outcomes. A smaller evidence base finds improvements in health when residents of public housing move to buildings incorporating green building practices.

This rapid evidence review is part of an AcademyHealth series that seeks to pilot innovative approaches to quickly, but rigorously identify and communicate evidence to inform public and private decision-making. The series examines questions relevant to building a Culture of Health, the current focus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the project’s funder.