Variation in health and social equity in the spaces where we live: A review of previous literature from the GeoHealth Laboratory
The previous decade has given rise to the importance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in explaining inequalities in health outcomes between groups based on their spatial location and social background. The GeoHealth Laboratory, based at the University of Canterbury, is a joint venture with the Health and Disability Intelligence unit within the Ministry of Health (MoH). The aims of this relationship are to add analytical capacity to MoH data collections and increase academic outputs of geospatial health research in New Zealand. GeoHealth research has often been a joint venture between Laboratory staff and students as well as collaboration with local and international researchers. These partnerships along with widely varied research interests have resulted in a large contribution of spatial health research in the field of health geography. This article reports on research undertaken by the GeoHealth Laboratory that has focused on access to neighbourhood determinants of health. An overview of key neighbourhoods and health research areas are outlined within the over-arching themes of indices of access to neighbourhood factors, access to undesireable neighbourhood destinations, health promoting neighbourhood factors, access to and utilisation of health services, and complementary data collection and research groups within New Zealand.