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Adapting a gis version of the Irvine-Minnesota inventory (IMI) for Bulgarian settings

Angel Dzhambov, Donka Dimitrova, Mariana Aleksandrova

Abstract

Introduction

Various neighbourhood features such as safety, green spaces, aesthetics and maintenance of the build environment, etc. are correlates of health-related behaviours and outcomes. Assessment of neighbourhood quality by raters using audit tools is objective way to obtain reliable information about those features, and the Irvine-Minnesota Inventory (IMI) is one of the most widely used tools.

Aim

The aim of this study was to adapt IMI for Bulgarian settings by restructuring and modifying its dimensions, and to test the reliability of a desk-based (GIS) against a field audit version. 

Material and methods

IMI was adapted for Bulgarian settings (BVIMI). Then 180 street segments were selected from the city of Plovdiv based on their characteristics, and 25% were sampled to be audited. Three raters carried out the neighbourhood audits using a field version (in-person audits) and a GIS version of BVIMI. The inter- and intra-rater agreement, as well as the agreement between the GIS and field audits was tested with Krippendorff`s alpha and the Intraclass correlation coefficient.

Results

BVIMI has 86 items organized in six domains - `Safety`, `Traffic`, `Maintenance`, `Nature and Landscape`, `Attractiveness of the Build Environment` and `Types of Buildings and Land use`. It is temporally stable and has high inter- and intra-rater agreement, except for some items necessitating subjective judgments (i.e. about features and attitudes) or assessing unstable features (i.e. stray dogs).

Conclusions

BVIMI is a reliable GIS-based neighbourhood auditing tool adapted for Bulgarian urban settings. It might be routinely utilized by environmental hygienists, social epidemiologists and other public health experts to study the associations between various neighbourhood features and health behaviours/outcomes.

Keywords

Irvine-Minnesota Inventory, GIS, neighbourhood audit, medical geography, environmental medicine, epidemiology

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/sssp.v1i1.1387

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About The Authors

Angel Dzhambov
Medical University - Plovdiv Faculty of Medicine
Bulgaria

Donka Dimitrova
Medical University-Plovdiv Faculty of Public health Dept. health management, health economics and primary care
Bulgaria

Mariana Aleksandrova
Medical University-Plovdiv Medical College

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