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Facework and trust in facilitating health-focused housing interventions

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dominic Aitken, Philip Hodgson, Allison Lawson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The link between housing and health is of increasing importance in the UK policy and practice context, in which poor housing is often accepted as a social determinant of poor health. Service users’ experiences of, and outcomes from, a British information, advice, support and guidance service focused on the relationship between housing problems and health issues were explored. This service facilitates home improvements for privately housed residents with housing issues exacerbating or causing health problems. In-depth interviews with occupants of 15 households which received the service were completed. The findings highlighted three key themes: the need for participants’ person-home fit to reflect and adapt to any degeneration in health conditions; the facilitation of knowledge and access to housing and other support available to them; and perceived positive health and wellbeing outcomes from the receipt of personalised advice and support. The delivery of these outcomes by a named officer of the service team, and the relationship this developed with the service user, are considered within the context of facework, whereby they became a trusted source of guidance in navigating a complex system of assistance. These findings add to the growing knowledge base on housing and health, and also highlight the critical importance of a facework approach in allowing service users to navigate complex systems in order to achieve beneficial outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aitken D, Hodgson P, Cook G, Lawson A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLOS One

Year: 2017

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Online publication date: 20/04/2017

Acceptance date: 05/04/2017

Date deposited: 24/04/2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176074


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