NCMLP’s Ellen Lawton and the University of Arizona Medical Center’s Anne Ryan and Randa Kutob share the results of an Arizona study on medical-legal partnership and patient stress in an article on the Huffington post blog.
Can a visit to see a lawyer actually reduce stress rather than cause it? Ask patients at the University of Arizona Medical Center Alvernon Family Medicine Clinic, and they will tell you “yes.”
Nine years ago, the Department of Family and Community Medicine hired an attorney, not to represent the clinic, but to work as the “patients’ lawyer” to address housing, hunger and insurance needs contributing to the poor health of its patients. It was a gamble on an approach to health care that prioritizes access to healthy housing right alongside access to medications, but one that has succeeded in reducing the stress of its patients. A study conducted by the university showed that reported stress levels among patients went down an average of 30 percent and their sense of well-being increased by almost 41 percent after they received care from an attorney.