Association Between Urban Regeneration and Healthcare-Seeking Behavior of Affected Residents: A Natural Experiment in two Multi-Ethnic Deprived Housing Areas in Denmark

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Area regeneration of deprived neighborhoods is being used to reduce health inequality, socioeconomic deprivation and ethnic segregation. This quasi-experimental study examines if long-term graded exposure to urban regeneration is associated with primary healthcare-seeking behavior among residents. We compared general practitioner (GP) contacts from 2015-2020 in two adjacent, deprived social housing areas, one exposed to area regeneration. Populations were into Western and non-Western males and females aged 15 years and older (N = 3,960). Mean annual GP contact frequency for each group were estimated and a difference-in-difference (DiD) analysis was conducted with adjustments for propensity scores based on baseline characteristics. GP contact frequency increased for all groups across time with a systematically higher level and faster increase in the control groups. In particular, the mean difference between the exposed and control area for non-Western women more than doubled from -0.61 to -1.47 annual contacts across the period. The mean differences in contact frequency increased for all groups but results of the DiD analyses were insignificant. In conclusion, an emerging gap in GP contact frequency, with the highest levels in the control area, was observed for all comparisons across time. More long-term research is needed to understand how the emerging gaps evolve.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

ID: 320348107