Connecting healthcare with income maximisation services, and their financial, health and well-being impacts for families with young children: a systematic review protocol

Burley, J., Price, A. M., Parker, A., Samir, N., Zhu, A., Eapen, V., Contreras-Suarez, D., Schreurs, N., Lawson, K. D., Lingam, R., Grace, R., Raman, S., Kemp, L., Chota, S., Goldfeld, S., Woolfenden, S.

INTRODUCTION: Poverty has far-reaching and detrimental effects on children’s physical and mental health, across all geographies. Financial advice and income-maximisation services can provide a promising opportunity for shifting the physical and mental health burdens that commonly occur with financial hardship, yet awareness of these services is limited, and referrals are not systematically integrated into existing healthcare service platforms. We aim to map and synthesise evidence on the impact of healthcare-income maximisation models of care for families of children aged 0-5 years in high-income countries on family finances, parent/caregiver(s) or children’s health and well-being. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: To be included in the review, studies must be families (expectant mothers or parents/caregivers) of children who are aged between 0 and 5 years, accessing a healthcare service, include a referral from healthcare to an income-maximisation service (ie, financial counselling), and examine impacts on child and family health and well-being. A comprehensive electronic search strategy will be used to identify studies written in English, published from inception to January 2021, and indexed in MEDLINE, EMBase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Proquest, Family & Society Studies Worldwide, Cochrane Library, and Informit Online. Search strategies will include terms for: families, financial hardship and healthcare, in various combinations. Bibliographies of primary studies and review articles meeting the inclusion criteria will be searched manually to identify further eligible studies, and grey literature will also be searched. Data on objective and self-reported outcomes and study quality will be independently extracted by two review authors; any disagreements will be resolved through a third reviewer. The protocol follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not required. The results will be disseminated widely via peer-reviewed publication and presentations at conferences related to this field. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020195985.

Topic(s): Well-being
Health Condition(s): General/non-specific
Year Published: 2021
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