The effect of urban density on mental health: a systematic review

Main Article Content

Kyle Lee

Keywords

Abstract

The effect of urban density on mental health: a systematic review


Background


Anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia appear to be more prevalent in urban environments. The built environment has been proposed to influence mental health. As an increasing proportion of the world becomes urbanized, more research is needed to determine what factors play a role in mental health outcomes.

Objective
A systematic review was conducted to determine the impact of urban density on mental health outcomes in adults aged 18 or older living in Westernized societies.

Methods


A systematic review of the literature was conducted for peer-reviewed articles written in English published within the last 10 years in Westernized societies from Pubmed and Google/Google Scholar databases. The search strategy was based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) template.


Results


A total of 389 studies were identified, and 349 studies were excluded based on our exclusion criteria. 8 final studies were assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. 5 of the 8 studies found a significantly positive association between urban density and poor mental health outcomes.


Conclusion


A positive association was found between urban density and poor mental health outcomes. Future studies would benefit from using unified and standard validated tools to measure urban density and mental health outcomes.