PHRC Phase 2 (2011-2019) projects – Projects related to living and working conditions

Is control in the living environment important for health and wellbeing, and what does this mean for public health interventions?

Principal investigator

Margaret Whitehead, Professor of Public Health, Division of Public Health, University of Liverpool


There is a growing focus on increased control and empowerment for members of the public in public policy development across a range of sectors, whether it be in tackling social exclusion; regeneration of disadvantaged areas, the Government’s “Choice” agenda for the NHS and local government services; or the growing interest in improved subjective wellbeing as an important objective of public policy across the board. From a public health perspective, attention is turning to whether “control”, or lack of it, in the day-to-day living environment influences population health and is implicated in health inequalities.

Aims, methods and contribution

The aim of this project is to synthesise the evidence on whether and in what ways control in the living environment is important for health and wellbeing, what the potential intervention points are to improve health and wellbeing, and what has been the impact of the types of intervention approaches that have been tried so far. The purpose is to strengthen the evidence base to inform the design of future public health interventions to address the social determinants of health in the living environment.


01/09/2011 - 31/08/2013 (24 months)