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Investigating the relationship between changes in social security benefits and mental health: a protocol for a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article numbere035993
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/06/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>BMJ Open
Issue number6
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


INTRODUCTION: Poor mental health is one of the greatest causes of disability in the world. Evidence increasingly shows that population mental health may be influenced by national social security policies. This systematic review aims to establish the relationship between social security and mental health in order to help inform recommendations for policy-makers, practitioners and future research. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A systematic review of quantitative observational studies investigating mental health outcomes related to changes in social security policies will be conducted. Six major databases, including Medline, PsychInfo, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Applied Social Sciences Index Abstracts and Scopus, as well as Research Papers in Economics will be searched from January 1979 to April 2020. The electronic database searches will be supplemented by reference and citation searches as well as hand-searching of key journals. The outcomes of interest are objective or subjective mental health outcomes, including stress, anxiety, depression, self-reported mental health scores, subjective well-being and suicide. Study selection will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, and the quality of the studies will be assessed by the validity assessment framework designed for appraising econometric studies. A narrative synthesis will be conducted for all included studies. If data permit, study findings will be synthesised by conducting a meta-analysis. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: As it will be a systematic review, without primary data collection, there will be no requirement for ethical approval. Findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and in various media, for example, conferences or symposia. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42019154733.