South East London Community Health Study
The South East London Community Health (SELCoH) study is an epidemiological cohort research of randomly selected households within Southwark and Lambeth. SELCoH is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
How was the study done?
Why Southwark and Lambeth?
The Southwark and Lambeth populations are highly diverse in terms of ethnicity and wealth, with areas of deprivation and areas of affluence sometimes very close. This ensures that the study encompasses a wide range of health service users as possible. The information collected gives us a better understanding of the health needs of the community and enables service providers to plan and improve services more effectively.
The SELCoH study was designed to collect accurate and up-to-date information about both the physical and mental health of people living within the local communities of Southwark and Lambeth.
This work is vital to ensure public health resources are used wisely. Any such research must be done in a way that can also help us to better understand if links exist between health and other social factors. By asking questions on both, we can start to understand the impact socioeconomic factors such as income or education have on people’s health, as well to understand if other demographic factors such as age, culture, ethnicity and/or residence make a difference on people’s wellbeing.
Phase 1 of the study was completed in 2010 with 1,698 adults aged 16 and over from 1,075 randomly selected households in Southwark and Lambeth taking part in the survey.
Phase 2 of the SELCoH was completed in 2013. Contact was made with 1,596 participants (94 per cent of the SELCoH 1 sample) of whom 157 were ineligible due to death, poor health or relocation. In total, 1,052 respondents were recruited to SELCoH 2 (response rate 73 per cent). It focused on understanding health inequalities and is closely linked to the Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON). HERON aims to provide a forum in which health practitioners, researchers and community members can share their experiences and information to further understand the problems affecting health.
Phase 3 (completed in 2015) provides a further biomedical follow up of the sample. This allows us to understand how stress and low mood are related to biological responses such as inflammation, hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) reactivity and cardiovascular outcomes, for which high quality population data are sparse.