Table 2

Summary of included studies

Study (year)Participants and settingStudy designOutcomes
Welfare and advice services located in healthcare settings
Abbott and Hobby (2000)53 Service users (n=68, 60% female) in five general practices in a deprived area of Liverpool, England.Uncontrolled before-after study
(6 and 12-month follow-up)
Caiels and Thurston (2005)56 Participants (n=96, 64% female, 98% White) in an advice service delivered at general practices in England.Uncontrolled before-after study
(follow-up at case closure)
Abbott et al (2006)54 Welfare benefits advice delivered to service users (n=345, 53% female, 96% White British) recruited from 59 GP surgeries in England.Uncontrolled before-after study
(6 and 12-month follow-up)
Ryan et al (2012)55 A medical–legal partnership for low-income earning patients (n=204, 72% female, 53% White) in a family clinic in Arizona, USA.Uncontrolled before-after study
(follow-up at case closure, mean: 2 months)
Harris (2013)57 Participants in an advice service delivered in a hospital in London (n=745, 66% female, 51% White).Uncontrolled before-after study
(follow-up at case closure)
SF-36, health service costs
Krska et al (2013)52 Patients (n=148, 65% female, 78% working age) at six general practices in deprived areas of England participating in an outreach service.Uncontrolled before-after study (6-month follow-up)Health service utilisation
Woodhead et al (2017)50 Adults (n=910, 63% female, 49% White British) accessing colocated welfare advice in eight general practices in London.Quasiexperimental controlled study (3-month follow-up)GHQ-12, SWEMWBS, health service utilisation
Link worker social prescribing
Grant et al (2000)47 Patients (n=161, 75% female) in 26 general practices in England identified by their general practitioners (GPs) as having psychosocial problems and referred to local and national voluntary organisations.Randomised controlled trial (1 and 4-month follow-up)HADS, Duke-UNC FSSQ, health service utilisation
Grayer et al (2008)51 Link workers direct patients (n=108, 62% female, mean age: 43, 67% White) identified as having psychosocial problems in 13 general practices in London to community and voluntary services.Uncontrolled before-after study
(3-month follow-up)
GHQ-12, CORE-OM, health service utilisation
Telephone debt advice services
Jinhee Kim et al (2013)58 Clients (n=355, 68% female, 65% White) drawn from the database of a non-profit credit counselling agency in the USA.Controlled before-after study
(18-month follow-up)
Composite health score, including experiences of stress
Pleasence and Balmer (2007)48 People (n=402) experiencing problems with debt recruited from 16 unemployment and welfare centres in England and Wales.Randomised controlled trial (5-month follow-up)STAI-S, EQ-5D
Food insecurity interventions
Roncarolo et al (2016)61 Food insecure individuals (n=824, 58% female, 36% foreign born) recruited from 24 non-profit organisations in Montreal, Canada.Controlled before-after study (9-month follow-up)SF-12
Active labour market programmes
Vinokur et al (2000)49 Recently unemployed people (55% female, median age: 35, 76% White, mean period of unemployment: 4.1 weeks) in Michigan, USA, participating in a week-long, group job search workshop.Randomised controlled trial (2, 6 and 24-month follow-up)HSCL, UM-CIDI, role and emotional functioning
Saloniemi et al (2014)60 Recently unemployed people (n=342, 53% female, mean age: 36, 71% unemployed for <12 months) in Finland participating in government-run vocational training courses.Uncontrolled before-after study.
Follow-up at programme conclusion (range: 3–24 months)
GHQ-12, SSS, self-reported sense of coherence
Rose (2019)59 9% random sample of all people aged 16–54 entering unemployment in Germany in 1 year.Controlled before-after study (12-month follow-up)Self-reported life satisfaction
  • CORE-OM, Core Outcome Measurement tools; Duke-UNC FSSQ, Functional Social Support Questionnaire; EQ-5D, EuroQol-5 Dimension; GHQ-12, General Health Questionnaire; HADS, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; HSCL, Hopkins Symptoms Checklist; MYCaW, Measure Yourself Concerns and Well-being; PSS-10, Perceived Stress Scale; rOR, Ratio of odds ratios; SF-12, 12-item Short Form Survey; SF-36, 36-item Short Form Survey; SSS, Stress Symptom Scale; STAI-S, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-state short form; SWEMWBS, Shortened Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale; UM-CIDI, Composite International Diagnostic Interview, University of Michigan short version.