Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Assessing the health impact of local amenities: a qualitative study of contrasting experiences of local swimming pool and leisure provision in two areas of Glasgow

By H. Thomson, A. Kearns and M. Petticrew

Abstract

Study objective: To assess the health impacts of local public swimming pool and leisure provision. \ud \ud Design: Retrospective qualitative study using focus groups. Reports from two areas with contrasting experience of provision of a public swimming pool (opening and closure) were compared within the context of general reports about health and neighbourhood. \ud \ud Setting: Two deprived neighbourhoods in south Glasgow. \ud \ud Participants: Local adult residents of mixed ages, accessed through local community groups. \ud Main results: In both areas the swimming pool was reported as an important amenity that was linked to health and wellbeing. However, few residents reported regular use of the pool for physical activity. Use of the pool facility for social contact was directly linked to reports of relief of stress and isolation, and improved mental health. Pool closure was one in a series of amenity closures and area decline and was used to represent other area changes. Health impacts were strongly linked to the pool closure. The pool opening was associated with local area regeneration, similar but less prominent links between swimming pool provision and health were reported. Health benefits of social contact were diffuse and linked to other local amenities as well as the new pool facility. \ud \ud Conclusions: Although theoretically linked to increased physical activity, the health benefits conveyed by the swimming pool may be more closely linked to the facilitation of social contact, and a supervised facility for young children. The use of qualitative work to investigate area based change provides rich contextual data to strengthen and explain the reported health impacts

Topics: RA
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.gla.ac.uk:2730
Provided by: Enlighten

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. A theoretical proposal for the relationship between context and disease. doi
  2. (2000). Associates. Pool refurbishment v pool replacement: technical digest.
  3. (2000). Associates. The ticking time bomb: the maintenance, upgrading and refurbishment of Scotland's public pools.
  4. (1995). Carstairs scores for Scottish post-code sectors from the 1991 census. Glasgow: Public Health Research Unit,
  5. Checklists for improving rigour in qualitative research: is it a case of the tail wagging the dog? doi
  6. (2000). City Ward Factsheet: ward population estimates at 1999.
  7. (2001). Focus groups in social research.
  8. Health impact assessment. doi
  9. (1999). Joined-Up Places? Social cohesion and neighbourhood regeneration. doi
  10. (1999). Methods of health impact assessment: a literature review.
  11. Multilevel analyses of neighbourhood socioeconomic context and health outcomes: a critical review. doi
  12. (1999). Qualitative evaluation. doi
  13. (2002). Select Committee on Culture Media & Sport. Testing the waters: the sport of swimming (second report). London: House of Commons, Palace of Westminster,
  14. (1999). Social capital and self-rated health: a contextual analysis. doi
  15. Social capital and self-rated health: support for a contextual mechanism. doi
  16. Social capital: the role of narrative and historical research. doi
  17. (2000). Social integration, social networks, social support and health. doi
  18. (1996). Social ties and health: the benefits of social integration. doi
  19. (2001). Sports participation in Scotland 2000: research report no 84.
  20. (1999). Survey of English Housing, 1997-1998, (http://www.dataarchive.ac.uk/findingData/snDescription.asp?sn=4013#doc): Office of National Statistics, Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions,
  21. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. doi
  22. (1994). The narrative constitution of identity: A relational and network approach. Theory doi
  23. (1998). Theorising inequalities in health: the place of lay knowledge.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.