Survey of the Health of Urban Residents: a Community-Driven Assessment of Conditions Salient to the Health of Historically Excluded Populations in the USA.

Sirry Alang, Lehigh University
Cynthia Pando, Lehigh University
Malcolm McClain, Lehigh University
Hasshan Batts, Lehigh University
Abby Letcher
Janelle Hager, Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley
Taylor Person, Greater Newark Conservancy
Adama Shaw, Lehigh University
Kwamaine Blake, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
Kevelis Matthews-Alvarado, Lehigh University


BACKGROUND: Data from the Survey of the Health of Urban Residents (SHUR) identified connections between police brutality and medical mistrust, generating significant media, policy, and research attention. Amidst intersecting crises of COVID-19, racism, and police brutality, this report describes survey development and data collection procedures for the SHUR.

BASIC PROCEDURES: We conducted focus groups with Black men, Latinxs, and immigrants in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Findings were used to develop and refine measures of conditions salient to the health of urban residents across the country. Quota sampling was employed; oversampling people of color and persons whose usual source of care was not a doctor's office.

MAIN FINDINGS: Non-Hispanic Whites made up just under two thirds of the sample (63.65%, n = 2793). Black/African American respondents accounted for 14.2% of the sample (n = 623), while 11.62% (n = 510) were Latinx. Only 43.46% of respondents reported a doctor's office as their usual source of care. Novel measures of population-specific stressors include a range of negative encounters with the police, frequency of these encounters, and respondents' assessments of whether the encounters were necessary. SHUR assessed the likelihood of calling the police if there is a problem, worries about incarceration, and cause-specific stressors such as race-related impression management.

PRINCIPAL CONCLUSIONS: SHUR (n = 4389) is a useful resource for researchers seeking to address the health implications of experiences not frequently measured by national health surveillance surveys. It includes respondents' zip codes, presenting the opportunity to connect these data with zip code-level health system, social and economic characteristics that shape health beyond individual factors.