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Wellbeing Impact Study of High-Speed 2 (WISH2): Protocol for a mixed-methods examination of the impact of major transport infrastructure development on mental health and wellbeing.

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Morley, Katherine I  ORCID logo
Hocking, Lucy 
Saunders, Catherine L 
Bousfield, Jennifer W  ORCID logo


Although research has demonstrated that transport infrastructure development can have positive and negative health-related impacts, most of this research has not considered mental health and wellbeing separately from physical health. There is also limited understanding of whether and how any effects might be experienced differently across population groups, whether this differs according to the stage of development (e.g. planning, construction), and how changes to planned infrastructure may affect mental health and wellbeing. This paper presents a protocol for the Wellbeing Impact Study of HS2 (WISH2), which seeks to address these questions using a high-speed rail development in the UK as an applied example. WISH2 is a 10-year, integrated, longitudinal, mixed-methods project using general practices (primary medical care providers in the UK) as an avenue for participant recruitment and for providing a geographically defined population for which aggregated data on mental health indicators are available. The research comprises: (i) a combined longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional cohort study involving multiple waves of survey data collection and data from medical records; (ii) longitudinal, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with residents and community stakeholders from exposed areas; (iii) analysis of administrative data aggregated at the general practice population level; and (iv) health economic analysis of mental health and wellbeing impacts. The study findings will support the development of strategies to reduce negative impacts and/or enhance positive mental health and wellbeing impacts of high-speed rail developments and other large-scale infrastructure projects.


Acknowledgements: The research team would like to thank the WISH2 Public Advisory Group and the Study Steering Committee for offering their ongoing time and support in designing and conducting the study.


Humans, Cross-Sectional Studies, Mental Health, Data Collection, Family Practice, Focus Groups

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PLoS One

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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/7)