Interactions between neighborhood characteristics and individual functional status in relation to disability among Québec urbanites

Mathieu Philibert, Robert Pampalon, Denis Hamel, Mark DANIEL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Disability is conceived as a person–context interaction. Neighborhoods are among the contexts potentially influencing disability. It is thus expected that neighborhood characteristics will be associated with disability prevalence and that such associations will be moderated by individual-level functional status. Empirical research targeting the influences of features of urban environments is relatively rare.

To evaluate the presence of contextual differences in disability prevalence and to assess the moderating role of individual functional status on the association between neighborhood characteristics and disability prevalence.

Multi-level analyses of individual-level data obtained from the Canadian Community Health Survey and neighborhood-level data derived from the Canada census.

A contextual component was observed in the variability of disability prevalence. Significant neighborhood-level differences in disability were found across levels of social deprivation. Evidence of person–place interaction was equivocal.

The contextual component of the variability in disability prevalence offers potential for targeting interventions to neighborhoods. The pathway by which social structure is associated with disability prevalence requires further research. Analyses of particular functional limitations may enhance our understanding of the mechanisms by which socioenvironmental factors affect disability. Publicly available survey data on disability in the general Canadian population, while useful, has limitations with respect to estimating socioenvironmental correlates of disability and potential person–place interactions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-368
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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