Medical-Legal Partnerships and Mental Health: Qualitative Evidence that Integrating Legal Services and Health Care Improves Family Well-Being
34 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2018
Date Written: 2017
Medical-Legal partnerships are an innovative health care delivery model that integrates lawyers into primary care clinical settings. The objective is to preventively address patients’ legal needs that also have an adverse impact on their health outcomes. Since the first medical-legal partnership formally opened at the Boston Medical Center in 1993, nearly 300 of these entities have formed around the country. The empirical evidence that they improve health, however, is still emerging. This essay contributes results of interviews conducted among families who received medical legal partnership help as an intervention in Colorado. The evidence supports the conclusion that addressing patients’ legal stressors improves their mental health and family well-being.
Keywords: Medical-legal partnership, stress, mental health, qualitative evidence, social determinants
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