The impact of a social prescribing service on patients in primary care: a mixed methods evaluation
Carnes, Dawn, Sohanpal, Ratna, Frostick, C., Hull, Sally, Mathur, Rohini, Netuveli, G., Tong, Jin, Hutt, Patrick and Bertotti, M. 2017. The impact of a social prescribing service on patients in primary care: a mixed methods evaluation. BMC Health Services Research. 17 (Art. 835). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2778-y
|Authors||Carnes, Dawn, Sohanpal, Ratna, Frostick, C., Hull, Sally, Mathur, Rohini, Netuveli, G., Tong, Jin, Hutt, Patrick and Bertotti, M.|
Social prescribing is targeted at isolated and lonely patients. Practitioners and patients jointly develop bespoke well-being plans to promote social integration and or social reactivation. Our aim was to investigate: whether a social prescribing service could be implemented in a general practice (GP) setting and to evaluate its effect on well-being and primary care resource use.
We used a mixed method evaluation approach using patient surveys with matched control groups and a qualitative interview study. The study was conducted in a mixed socio-economic, multi-ethnic, inner city London borough with socially isolated patients who frequently visited their GP. The intervention was implemented by ‘social prescribing coordinators’. Outcomes of interest were psychological and social well-being and health care resource use.
At 8 months follow-up there were no differences between patients referred to social prescribing and the controls for general health, depression, anxiety and ‘positive and active engagement in life’. Social prescribing patients had high GP consultation rates, which fell in the year following referral. The qualitative study indicated that most patients had a positive experience with social prescribing but the service was not utilised to its full extent.
Changes in general health and well-being following referral were very limited and comprehensive implementation was difficult to optimise. Although GP consultation rates fell, these may have reflected regression to the mean rather than changes related to the intervention. Whether social prescribing can contribute to the health of a nation for social and psychological wellbeing is still to be determined.
|Journal||BMC Health Services Research|
|Journal citation||17 (Art. 835)|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2778-y|
|19 Dec 2017|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||11 Jan 2019|
|Accepted||06 Dec 2017|
|Funder||City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group|
|Copyright information||© 2017 The authors|
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