Social safety net integral to good health, researchers find

Originally published on Modern Healthcare.

Housing and integrated social services improved the health of children and adults in medically complex families, a new study found.

Priority placement in affordable housing coupled with case management, financial and legal services for families that combat chronic diseases and housing instability significantly improved both physical and mental health compared with families that received the standard resource guides and hospital-based social work. The holistic model reduced the share of children with fair or poor health by 32 percentage points over six months and average scores for anxiety and depression among adult family members declined by 1.38 and 1.04 points, respectively, according to a new study from a group of Boston researchers published in Health Affairs.