Welfare benefits advice in primary care: evidence of improvements in health

Public Health. 2000 Sep;114(5):324-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.ph.1900680.


It is not uncommon for welfare benefits advice organisations to offer services in primary care settings. Given the link between deprivation and poor health, the maximising of individual income in this way may also be expected to improve health. However, such improvement has hitherto not been successfully measured. This paper reports on a small study of such a service, provided by the local Citizens Advice Bureau. Statistically significant increases in SF-36 scores were measured for those whose income increased as a result of receiving advice, despite the prevalence in the group (average age 56 y) of chronic disabling conditions such as arthritis and sensory impairment. These findings suggest that 'prescribing advice' is a health intervention which is appropriately situated in primary care.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty* / economics
  • Poverty* / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Welfare / economics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires