Application of global positioning system methods for the study of obesity and hypertension risk among low-income housing residents in New York City: A spatial feasibility study

Dustin T. Duncan, Seann D. Regan, Donna Shelley, Kristen Day, Ryan R. Ruff, Maliyhah Al-Bayan, Brian Elbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using global positioning system (GPS) methods to understand the spatial context of obesity and hypertension risk among a sample of low-income housing residents in New York City (n = 120). GPS feasibility among participants was measured with a pre- and post-survey as well as adherence to a protocol which included returning the GPS device as well as objective data analysed from the GPS devices. We also conducted qualitative interviews with 21 of the participants. Most of the sample was overweight (26.7%) or obese (40.0%). Almost one-third (30.8%) was pre-hypertensive and 39.2% was hypertensive. Participants reported high ratings of GPS acceptability, ease of use and low levels of wear-related concerns in addition to few concerns related to safety, loss or appearance, which were maintained after the baseline GPS feasibility data collection. Results show that GPS feasibility increased over time. The overall GPS return rate was 95.6%. Out of the total of 114 participants with GPS, 112 (98.2%) delivered at least one hour of GPS data for one day and 84 (73.7%) delivered at least one hour on 7 or more days. The qualitative interviews indicated that overall, participants enjoyed wearing the GPS devices, that they were easy to use and charge and that they generally forgot about the GPS device when wearing it daily. Findings demonstrate that GPS devices may be used in spatial epidemiology research in low-income and potentially other key vulnerable populations to understand geospatial determinants of obesity, hypertension and other diseases that these populations disproportionately experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalGeospatial health
Volume9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

low income housing
Geographic Information Systems
hypertension
obesity
Feasibility Studies
feasibility study
low income
GPS
Obesity
housing
resident
Hypertension
Equipment and Supplies
qualitative interview
city
method
Interviews
Vulnerable Populations
epidemiology

Keywords

  • Feasibility
  • Global positioning system
  • Health disparities
  • Low-income housing residents
  • Neighbourhoods
  • Spatial epidemiology
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

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title = "Application of global positioning system methods for the study of obesity and hypertension risk among low-income housing residents in New York City: A spatial feasibility study",
abstract = "The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using global positioning system (GPS) methods to understand the spatial context of obesity and hypertension risk among a sample of low-income housing residents in New York City (n = 120). GPS feasibility among participants was measured with a pre- and post-survey as well as adherence to a protocol which included returning the GPS device as well as objective data analysed from the GPS devices. We also conducted qualitative interviews with 21 of the participants. Most of the sample was overweight (26.7{\%}) or obese (40.0{\%}). Almost one-third (30.8{\%}) was pre-hypertensive and 39.2{\%} was hypertensive. Participants reported high ratings of GPS acceptability, ease of use and low levels of wear-related concerns in addition to few concerns related to safety, loss or appearance, which were maintained after the baseline GPS feasibility data collection. Results show that GPS feasibility increased over time. The overall GPS return rate was 95.6{\%}. Out of the total of 114 participants with GPS, 112 (98.2{\%}) delivered at least one hour of GPS data for one day and 84 (73.7{\%}) delivered at least one hour on 7 or more days. The qualitative interviews indicated that overall, participants enjoyed wearing the GPS devices, that they were easy to use and charge and that they generally forgot about the GPS device when wearing it daily. Findings demonstrate that GPS devices may be used in spatial epidemiology research in low-income and potentially other key vulnerable populations to understand geospatial determinants of obesity, hypertension and other diseases that these populations disproportionately experience.",
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