Housing conditions and self-reported health status: A study in panel block buildings in three cities of Eastern Europe

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Abstract

In the framework of a new program on housingand health, the World Health Organization hasundertaken a field survey on panel blockhousing estates in Eastern Germany, Lithuania,and Slovakia aiming at a preliminary assessmentof housing conditions in Eastern Europeancountries and their potential healthconsequences. It also aimed to highlighthousing and health problems of Eastern Europeantransition countries that may be related to thecurrent conditions of panel block housing.Based on empirical data collected from 259dwellings and 601 residents, it can beconcluded that several housing conditions dohave an impact on the health perception oftheir residents. Noise annoyance is recognizedas one of the most prevalent problems affectingresidential health and well-being. However, itproved difficult to identify an aspect havingan overall dominant influence on health.The survey clearly indicated the effect ofrehabilitation work on residentialsatisfaction, and it raised expectations thathousing improvements can lead to better health.