Longitudinal Associations between Perceived Quality of Living Spaces and Health-Related Quality of Life among Homeless and Vulnerably Housed Individuals Living in Three Canadian Cities

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Nov 29;16(23):4808. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16234808.


The objective of this study was to examine longitudinal associations between perceived quality of living spaces and mental and physical health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among homeless and vulnerably housed individuals living in three Canadian cities. The Health and Housing in Transition (HHiT) study was a prospective cohort study conducted between 2009 and 2013 of N = 1190 individuals who were homeless and vulnerably housed at baseline. Perceived quality of living spaces (based on rated comfort, safety, spaciousness, privacy, friendliness and overall quality) and both mental and physical HRQoL were assessed at baseline and at four annual follow up points. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) analyses were used to examine associations between perceived quality of living spaces and both mental and physical HRQoL over the four-year study period, controlling for time-varying housing status, health and socio-demographic variables. The results showed that higher perceived quality of living spaces was positively associated with mental (b = 0.42; 95% CI 0.38-0.47) and physical (b = 0.11; 95% CI 0.07-0.15) HRQoL over the four-year study period. Findings indicate that policies aimed at increasing HRQoL in this population should prioritize improving their experienced quality of living spaces.

Keywords: health; health-related quality of life; homeless persons; housing; vulnerably housed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cities
  • Female
  • Homeless Persons / psychology*
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Vulnerable Populations / psychology*