Effects of household crowding on mental health

Added April 5, 2020

Citation: Shannon H, Allen C, Clarke M, Dávila D, Fletcher-Wood L, Gupta S. et al. Web Annex A. Report of the systematic review on the effect of household crowding on health. In: WHO Housing and health guidelines. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018 (WHO/CED/PHE/18.02). Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

What is this? The COVID- 19 pandemic has led to large numbers of people having to stay at home. Depending on the number of occupants and the dwelling space available, this can lead to household crowding, which can have an effect on mental health.

This systematic review was used to inform the 2018 WHO guidelines on Housing and Health. For the sub-section on mental health, the authors searched for articles published between 2004 and 2018. They did their most recent searches in March 2018 and identified 13 eligible studies.

What was found: Household crowding may be linked to milder forms of mental health problems such as feelings of stress and unhappiness.


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