Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health

Voigtländer S, Vogt V, Mielck A, Razum O (2014)
International journal of public health 59(3): 427-438.

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Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Material and social living conditions at the small-area level are assumed to have an effect on individual health. We review existing explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on health and describe the gaps future research should try to fill. METHODS: Systematic literature search for, and analysis of, studies that propose an explanatory model of the relationship between small-area characteristics and health. RESULTS: Fourteen studies met our inclusion criteria. Using various theoretical approaches, almost all of the models are based on a three-tier structure linking social inequalities (posited at the macro-level), small-area characteristics (posited at the meso-level) and individual health (micro-level). No study explicitly defines the geographical borders of the small-area context. The health impact of the small-area characteristics is explained by specific pathways involving mediating factors (psychological, behavioural, biological). These pathways tend to be seen as uni-directional; often, causality is implied. They may be modified by individual factors. CONCLUSIONS: A number of issues need more attention in research on explanatory models concerning small-area effects on health. Among them are the (geographical) definition of the small-area context; the systematic description of pathways comprising small-area contextual as well as compositional factors; questions of direction of association and causality; and the integration of a time dimension.
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Voigtländer S, Vogt V, Mielck A, Razum O. Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health. International journal of public health. 2014;59(3):427-438.
Voigtländer, S., Vogt, V., Mielck, A., & Razum, O. (2014). Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health. International journal of public health, 59(3), 427-438.
Voigtländer, S., Vogt, V., Mielck, A., and Razum, O. (2014). Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health. International journal of public health 59, 427-438.
Voigtländer, S., et al., 2014. Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health. International journal of public health, 59(3), p 427-438.
S. Voigtländer, et al., “Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health”, International journal of public health, vol. 59, 2014, pp. 427-438.
Voigtländer, S., Vogt, V., Mielck, A., Razum, O.: Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health. International journal of public health. 59, 427-438 (2014).
Voigtländer, Sven, Vogt, Verena, Mielck, Andreas, and Razum, Oliver. “Explanatory models concerning the effects of small-area characteristics on individual health”. International journal of public health 59.3 (2014): 427-438.
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