- Lone parents, health, wellbeing and welfare to work: a systematic review of qualitative studies
- Background: Lone parents and their children experience higher than average levels of adverse health and social outcomes, much of which are explained by high rates of poverty. Many high income countries have attempted to address high poverty rates by introducing employment requirements for lone parents in receipt of welfare benefits. However, there is evidence that employment may not reduce poverty or improve the health of lone parents and their children. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of qualitative studies reporting lone parents’ accounts of participation in welfare to work (WtW), to identify explanations and possible mechanisms for the impacts of WtW on health and wellbeing. Twenty one bibliographic databases were searched. Two reviewers independently screened references and assessed study quality. Studies from any high income country that met the criteria of focussing on lone parents, mandatory WtW interventions, and health or wellbeing were included. Thematic synthesis was used to investigate analytic themes between studies. Results: Screening of the 4703 identified papers and quality assessment resulted in the inclusion of 16 qualitative studies of WtW in five high income countries, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, covering a variety of welfare regimes. Our synthesis found that WtW requirements often conflicted with child care responsibilities. Available employment was often poorly paid and precarious. Adverse health impacts, such as increa ...
Mhairi Campbell, Hilary Thomson, Candida Fenton, Marcia Gibson
BMC Public Health. BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201616:188 DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-2880-9
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