Exploration and Development of Methodology for Accessibility Assessments: Based on the Notion of Person-Environment Fit

University dissertation from Department of Health Sciences, Lund University

Abstract: To improve population health, it is important to create environments that support activity, participation and health. One crucial aspect concerns the degree to which the built environment is accessible for all people including those with reduced functional capacity. The overarching objective of this thesis was to explore and further develop methodology for accessibility assessments based on the notion of person-environment fit. Type profiles that represent groups characterized by their combinations of functional limitations were explored as an approach to analyze accessibility problems at the group level. To support societal planning and decision procedures, basic simulated accessibility analyses were conducted as a method to identify different sets of housing improvement priorities that are applicable for groups with different functional capacity. Sixty-one core environmental barriers in terms of accessibility problem detection were identified. This represented a preliminary version of an accessibility screening tool, which can be efficient for research and policy interventions focusing on accessibility. Based on a conceptual analysis, techniques for statistically analyzing the variation of agreement data were explored. This approach can identify the most influential sources of disagreement. Finally, a typology of person-environment fit constellations was constructed, which will thereby facilitate an extension of the methodology for accessibility assessments that are applicable in different environmental arenas. The results of this thesis have implications for further research related to the development of tools and methods that can ultimately support societal efforts in achieving a built environment that is accessible for all citizens, regardless of functional capacity.