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Exploring Spatial Variability in the Relationship between Long Term Limiting Illness and Area Level Deprivation at the City Level Using Geographically Weighted Regression

Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool, L69 7ZT, UK

Special Issues: Spatial Aspects of Health: Methods and Applications

Ecological influences on health outcomes are associated with the spatial stratification of health. However, the majority of studies that seek to understand these ecological influences utilise aspatial methods. Geographically weighted regression (GWR) is a spatial statistics tool that expands standard regression by allowing for spatial variance in parameters. This study contributes to the urban health literature, by employing GWR to uncover geographic variation in Limiting Long Term Illness (LLTI) and area level effects at the small area level in a relatively small, urban environment. Using GWR it was found that each of the three contextual covariates, area level deprivation scores, the percentage of the population aged 75 years plus and the percentage of residences of white ethnicity for each LSOA exhibited a non-stationary relationship with LLTI across space. Multicollinearity among the predictor variables was found not to be a problem. Within an international policy context, this research indicates that even at the city level, a “one-size fits all” policy strategy is not the most appropriate approach to address health outcomes. City “wide” health polices need to be spatially adaptive, based on the contextual characteristics of each area.
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