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      Understanding Urban Green Space as a Health Resource: A Qualitative Comparison of Visit Motivation and Derived Effects among Park Users in Sheffield, UK

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          Abstract

          With increasing interest in the use of urban green space to promote human health, there is a need to understand the extent to which park users conceptualize these places as a resource for health and well-being. This study sought to examine park users’ own reasons for and benefits from green space usage and compare these with concepts and constructs in existing person-environment-health theories and models of health. Conducted in 13 public green spaces in Sheffield, UK, we undertook a qualitative content analysis of 312 park users’ responses to open-ended interview questions and identified a breadth, depth and salience of visit motivators and derived effects. Findings highlight a discrepancy between reasons for visiting and derived effects from the use of urban green space. Motivations emphasized walking, green space qualities, and children. Derived effects highlighted relaxation, positive emotions within the self and towards the place, and spiritual well-being. We generate a taxonomy of motivations and derived effects that could facilitate operationalization within empirical research and articulate a conceptual framework linking motivators to outcomes for investigating green space as a resource for human health and well-being.

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          The need for a new medical model: a challenge for biomedicine.

          The dominant model of disease today is biomedical, and it leaves no room within tis framework for the social, psychological, and behavioral dimensions of illness. A biopsychosocial model is proposed that provides a blueprint for research, a framework for teaching, and a design for action in the real world of health care.
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            The qualitative content analysis process.

            This paper is a description of inductive and deductive content analysis. Content analysis is a method that may be used with either qualitative or quantitative data and in an inductive or deductive way. Qualitative content analysis is commonly used in nursing studies but little has been published on the analysis process and many research books generally only provide a short description of this method. When using content analysis, the aim was to build a model to describe the phenomenon in a conceptual form. Both inductive and deductive analysis processes are represented as three main phases: preparation, organizing and reporting. The preparation phase is similar in both approaches. The concepts are derived from the data in inductive content analysis. Deductive content analysis is used when the structure of analysis is operationalized on the basis of previous knowledge. Inductive content analysis is used in cases where there are no previous studies dealing with the phenomenon or when it is fragmented. A deductive approach is useful if the general aim was to test a previous theory in a different situation or to compare categories at different time periods.
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              Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation?

              To investigate the strength of the relation between the amount of green space in people's living environment and their perceived general health. This relation is analysed for different age and socioeconomic groups. Furthermore, it is analysed separately for urban and more rural areas, because the strength of the relation was expected to vary with urbanity. The study includes 250 782 people registered with 104 general practices who filled in a self administered form on sociodemographic background and perceived general health. The percentage of green space (urban green space, agricultural space, natural green space) within a one kilometre and three kilometre radius around the postal code coordinates was calculated for each household. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were performed at three levels-that is, individual level, family level, and practice level-controlled for sociodemographic characteristics. The percentage of green space inside a one kilometre and a three kilometre radius had a significant relation to perceived general health. The relation was generally present at all degrees of urbanity. The overall relation is somewhat stronger for lower socioeconomic groups. Elderly, youth, and secondary educated people in large cities seem to benefit more from presence of green areas in their living environment than other groups in large cities. This research shows that the percentage of green space in people's living environment has a positive association with the perceived general health of residents. Green space seems to be more than just a luxury and consequently the development of green space should be allocated a more central position in spatial planning policy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                22 January 2013
                January 2013
                : 10
                : 1
                : 417-442
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, De Montfort University, Queens Building, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, UK
                [2 ]University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Program, Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA; E-Mail: swarber@ 123456umich.edu
                [3 ]Geography Department, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK; E-Mail: P.G.Devine-Wright@ 123456exeter.ac.uk
                [4 ]Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ, UK; E-Mail: k.v.frankland@ 123456exeter.ac.uk
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: kirvine@ 123456dmu.ac.uk or kirvine@ 123456umich.edu ; Tel.: +44-(0)-116-207-8711; Fax: +44-(0)-116-257-7977.
                Article
                ijerph-10-00417
                10.3390/ijerph10010417
                3564151
                23340602
                © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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