Using environmental monitoring to complement in-depth qualitative interviews in cold homes research

CRONIN DE CHAVEZ, Anna, GILBERTSON, Janet, TOD, Angela, NELSON, Pete, POWELL-HOYLAND, Vanessa, HOMER, Catherine, LUSAMBILI, Adelaide and THOMAS, Ben (2017). Using environmental monitoring to complement in-depth qualitative interviews in cold homes research. Indoor and Built Environment, 26 (7), 937-950.

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Cold homes contribute to twenty to forty thousand excess winter deaths each year in the UK and approximately 300,000 hospital admissions. Using fuel poverty as an identifier for those at risk does not always capture everyday exposure to cold homes due to variations in financial trade-offs and behavioural factors. Few fuel poverty studies have combined environmental measurements with qualitative data on lived experiences of fuel poverty and cold homes. This paper looks at the strengths and limitations of using a mixed method, environmental and qualitative interviewing approach. A series of six discreet studies were conducted between 2001 and 2015 using a similar methodology with a mixed methods design where in-depth interviews were conducted alongside temperature and humidity measurements. The research studies found that combining environmental monitoring with qualitative research methods allows both cross validation and triangulation of data in order to provide a richer and more insightful examination into the lives of people living in cold homes. The studies demonstrate how a combined methodological approach can help explain the choices, decisions and behaviour of households experiencing cold homes and fuel poverty. The paper concludes with recommendations for future development and implementation of the research method.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: data logger, fuel poverty, excess winter deaths, mixed methods, environmental monitoring, public health
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Health and Well-being > Department of Social Work, Social Care and Community Studies
Identification Number:
Page Range: 937-950
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2017 10:28
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 17:31

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