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Research to improve support for clients on a benefit who have a health condition

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The Ministry of Social Development is working with the MidCentral District Health Board on research aimed at finding better ways to help people on a benefit who have a health condition.

We hope this research can improve how both agencies support these clients, including better ways of working together, so their health improves and they can return to work and independence.
International research has shown that health and work are intrinsically linked; poor health can lead to unemployment and unemployment can lead to worsening health.
Some people needing a benefit who have health conditions successfully return to independence, while others do not.  We want to find out why some people are better able to return to independence than others.
If we find any useful patterns, we will use the findings to shape new or existing health or welfare services. We want to help more people get healthier and return to self-sufficiency.  Our research will not affect people’s benefits; we want to provide the right support to those who need it.
Currently, the health and welfare concerns of clients needing a benefit are addressed independently by health professionals and the Ministry.  We want to be more successful at helping our joint clients by working better together.
We will use joined up health and welfare information with all identifying information removed (ie.. names, addresses, dates of birth and any other identifying information will NOT be included in the research).
Our research is not about individual clients.  Instead, we want to understand the characteristics of groups of people who have similar results.
We have received ethical approval for this research from the Health and Disabilities Ethics Committee, the MidCentral DHB Clinical Board and the Ministry’s own ethics panel.  We will seek further ethical approval before implementing any new or changed health or welfare services as a result of this research.
We treat all client information with the utmost care and security. Even though all research information is de-identified, we will still protect the information to the highest standards including:
  • Only the small team of trained specialists directly involved in the project will have access to any research information - no one else will have access to it
  • All information will be securely encrypted when MidCentral DHB transfers it electronically to the Ministry
  • All information will only be used for this specific research project and will then be destroyed once the research is complete
  • Research findings will be published, but only at a summary level so individuals can’t be identified
If you have any questions about the research, please email:

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