Corresponding Author

Bethesda O'Connell


Author Affiliations

Bethesda O'Connell

Department of Community and Behavioral Health, East Tennessee State University

ORCID iD 0000-0002-6150-876X

Author Area of Expertise



Background: Housing is an important social determinant of health and substandard housing is linked to physical, mental, and social health problems.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to qualitatively assess the impacts of repairs to substandard housing in rural East Tennessee through twenty-eight interviews.

Methods: Zoom was utilized for recording phone interviews in January– February 2021 and NVivo software was used for thematic analysis in May–July 2021.

Results: Themes that emerged included environmental risk reduction, impacts on physical health, impacts on mental health, impacts on financial well-being, and willingness to receive future assistance from service organizations.

Implications: Further research is recommended to quantify impacts including effects on utilization of health care and community services, school and work attendance, and mental health impacts.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recommended Citation

O’Connell B, Sloop A, Intagliata N, Miller M. They built my soul: A qualitative analysis of the impacts of home repairs in rural Tennessee. J Appalach Health 2022;4(1):9–19. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13023/jah.0401.03.