In each case there are difficulties in defining both the numerator (those receiving the interventions) and the denominator (the total population of interest). Selleckchem Epigenetics Compound Library This can be illustrated particularly clearly at the community level. While interventions designed to foster community empowerment, cohesion and sustainability are aimed at ‘the community’, this is not properly constituted as a policy target group, so rather than being an active participant, the community can be considered an absent or passive recipient of the intervention. Residents may be the direct or indirect recipients of regeneration interventions, and it is possible that those most likely to benefit from regeneration
activities may be the children and young people in these communities or indeed future generations. To some extent, our ‘solution’ to these challenges rests on making pragmatic but we hope, justifiable choices about which populations to focus on for different parts of the study. Once again, these decisions may change over time as they draw on our own growing knowledge of the interventions, their spatial and social reach, and their possible pathways and outcomes. We have attempted to spatially delimit the areas affected by an
intervention, or the area in which residents may take advantage of a new service or program, even if the residents themselves are not all aware of its operation or existence. As GoWell has progressed we have added components focused on family’s (Egan and Lawson, 2012), young people’s (Neary et al., 2012) and asylum seekers’ Selleck BIBF1120 experience of regeneration (GoWell, 2009a). We have identified two major challenges in studying areas of deprivation: diversity of residents, and instability else of households. Residents in our study areas are diverse and many areas are not the stable, working class communities, which were the focus of urban regeneration in the past. In particular, residents vary according
to their nationality (tremendous diversity and numbers of refugees and asylum seekers in some areas) and their degree of support needs for issues like substance dependencies (GoWell, 2009b). We have found great instability of households, in part due to the nature of the interventions (decanting and relocating some residents) and the prevalence of significant life-event complications such as relationship breakdown, victimization, hospitalization and bereavement (Egan and Lawson, 2012). Methodological challenges result in relation to examining differences between comparison groups (adjusting for known confounders can help address this problem but does not fully ‘solve’ it) and difficulty tracking participants over time. On the other hand, both are features of the study population that can be explored in more detail to better understand intervention effects including the social patterning of those effects.