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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Alexis Kilgarriff-Foster and Alicia O'Cathain

Social prescribing are short-term intermediary services that facilitate patients with psychosocial needs to engage in non-clinical support. However, little is known about…

Abstract

Purpose

Social prescribing are short-term intermediary services that facilitate patients with psychosocial needs to engage in non-clinical support. However, little is known about the components and potential impact of social prescribing. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

A review was conducted to explore the evidence based on social prescribing including mapping its key components and potential impact. Database, internet and hand searching was utilised to identify relevant studies. Data extraction and narrative analysis was undertaken to explore the issues.

Findings

In total, 24 studies met the inclusion criteria. The studies were diverse in their methodologies and the services evaluated. Stakeholders such as general practitioners and patients perceived that social prescribing increased patients’ mental well-being and decreased health service use. However, the quantitative evidence supporting this was limited. The only randomised-controlled trial showed a decrease in symptoms and increase in functional well-being at four months. The other non-controlled designs had large drop-out rates limiting their value in determining effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of social prescribing using robust evaluative designs.

Originality/value

This is the first review of generic social prescribing services focusing on the general evidence base.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 March 2020

Chris Dayson, Jo Painter and Ellen Bennett

This paper aims to identify the well-being outcomes of a social prescribing model set within a secondary mental health service recovery pathway and understand the key…

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1753

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the well-being outcomes of a social prescribing model set within a secondary mental health service recovery pathway and understand the key characteristics of a social prescribing referral for producing these outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study of one mental health social prescribing service with three nested case studies of social prescribing providers. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with commissioners, providers and patients (n = 20) and analysed thematically.

Findings

Social prescribing makes a positive contribution to emotional, psychological and social well-being for patients of secondary mental health services. A key enabling mechanism of the social prescribing model was the supportive discharge pathway which provided opportunities for sustained engagement in community activities, including participation in peer-to-peer support networks and volunteering.

Research limitations/implications

More in-depth research is required to fully understand when, for whom and in what circumstances social prescribing is effective for patients of secondary mental health services.

Practical implications

A supported social prescribing referral, embedded within a recovery focussed secondary mental health service pathway, offers a valuable accompaniment to traditional approaches. Current social prescribing policy is focussed on increasing the number of link workers in primary care, but this study highlights the importance models embedded within secondary care and of funding VCSE organisations to receive referrals and provide pathways for long-term engagement, enabling positive outcomes to be sustained.

Originality/value

Social prescribing is widely advocated in policy and practice but there are few examples of social prescribing models having been developed in secondary mental health services, and no published academic studies that everybody are aware of.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Nicholas Vogelpoel and Kara Jarrold

The purpose of this paper is to describe the benefits of a social prescribing service for older people with sensory impairments experiencing social isolation. The paper…

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567

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the benefits of a social prescribing service for older people with sensory impairments experiencing social isolation. The paper draws on the findings from a 12-week programme run by Sense, a voluntary sector organisation, and illustrates how integrated services, combining arts-based participation and voluntary sector support, can create positive health and wellbeing outcomes for older people.

Design/methodology/approach

The research took a mixed-methodological approach, conducting and analysing data from interviews and dynamic observation proformas with facilitators and quantitative psychological wellbeing scores with participants throughout the course of the programme. Observations and case study data were also collected to complement and contextualise the data sets.

Findings

The research found that participatory arts programmes can help combat social isolation amongst older people with sensory impairments and can offer an important alliance for social care providers who are required to reach more people under increasing pecuniary pressures. The research also highlights other benefits for health and wellbeing in the group including increased self-confidence, new friendships, increased mental wellbeing and reduced social isolation.

Research limitations/implications

The research was based on a sample size of 12 people with sensory impairments and therefore may lack generalisability. However, similar outcomes for people engaging in participatory arts through social prescription are documented elsewhere in the literature.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for existing health and social care services and argues that delivering more integrated services that combine health and social care pathways with arts provision have the potential to create social and medical health benefits without being care/support resource heavy.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils a need to understand and develop services that are beneficial to older people who become sensory impaired in later life. This cohort is growing and, at present, there are very few services for this community at high risk of social isolation.

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Mark Swift

A community-centred approach to health called Community Wellbeing Practices (CWP) is being offered to patients at all 17 GP practices in Halton in order to respond more…

Abstract

Purpose

A community-centred approach to health called Community Wellbeing Practices (CWP) is being offered to patients at all 17 GP practices in Halton in order to respond more appropriately to patients’ social needs, which are often an underlying reason for their presentation at primary care services. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Delivered in partnership with a local social enterprise this approach is centred on the integration of community assets and non-medical community-based support provided by the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. The core elements include community navigation, social prescribing and social action approaches.

Findings

The CWP initiative has supported more than 5,000 patients over the last four years and has evidenced demonstrable improvements in a range of health and social outcomes for patients.

Research limitations/implications

The initiative has been well received by clinicians and social care professionals and has contributed to a cultural transformation in the way health and care professionals are responding to the identified needs of the community.

Practical implications

Using community-centred approaches in this way may help to augment clinical outcomes as well as reduce demand on over stretched public services.

Social implications

Community-centred models such as the one in Halton have the potential to empower citizens to play an active role in creating healthier communities by catalysing a “people powered” social movement for health.

Originality/value

The CWP model in Halton is a good example of the way community-centred approaches to health can be integrated with health and care pathways to augment clinical outcomes and reduce demand on over stretched services.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

L.K. Jha and K.N. Jha

Reviews the content of the scholar Chanakya’s treatise, Arthasastra (economics). Written in the period 321‐296bc, it sets forth a framework for the economic management of…

Abstract

Reviews the content of the scholar Chanakya’s treatise, Arthasastra (economics). Written in the period 321‐296bc, it sets forth a framework for the economic management of India. Examines the Arthasastra’s teachings in the areas of agriculture, forestry, wildlife, mining and industries, and transport and trade. Reports that the economy was based on a system of coinage that had made barter of secondary importance and lists the prescribed sources of revenues such as taxes and fines and at the main heads of expenditure such as the maintenance of an army, a bureaucracy, social security measures and the upkeep of the King, his family and his court. Concludes that Chanakya’s Arthasastra is a monumental treatise of the ancient world that possesses great importance in the history of economics.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 25 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2019

Amy Beardmore

Social prescribing (SP) is an emerging area of public health that has the potential to alleviate pressure on primary care by offering non-clinical solutions to health…

Abstract

Purpose

Social prescribing (SP) is an emerging area of public health that has the potential to alleviate pressure on primary care by offering non-clinical solutions to health problems. Whilst there is an increasing body of literature exploring service design and impact, there is little research that focuses specifically on the SP workforce. The purpose of this paper is to explore routes into SP, worker’s experiences of the sector and potential career progression.

Design/methodology/approach

For this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight members of the SP workforce with varying levels of responsibility from within six different organisations in an urban/suburban area of South West England. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Pathways into the sector were varied, and those without direct experience often brought transferable skills from other professions. Careers in SP were clearly rewarding, and some providers had established good support structures for staff. However, some participants were in need of additional training in areas such as collaborative working and staff management. Staff working at a more senior level – particularly in community-based organisations – seemed less well supported overall, with limited career progression. Staff in such organisations also reported working beyond contractual hours.

Originality/value

This study has revealed inconsistencies between the experiences of staff in some community organisations vs those associated with larger, more established services. It has also highlighted a need for further training and capacity building in some areas. These findings may be of interest to those commissioning or funding SP services in the future.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 18 March 2011

Julia Clark and Marilyn McGee‐Lennon

An increase in the ageing UK population is leading to new ways of looking at how we deliver health and social care services in the UK. The use of assisted living…

Abstract

An increase in the ageing UK population is leading to new ways of looking at how we deliver health and social care services in the UK. The use of assisted living technology (ALT) and telecare is already playing a part in these new models of care. Yet despite the current advances in the range of technology and networking capabilities in the home, ALT and telecare solutions have not been taken up as eagerly as might have been anticipated. The study reported here used scenario‐based focus groups with a wide variety of stakeholders in home care to identify the existing barriers to the successful uptake of ALTs and telecare in Scotland. Six focus group sessions were conducted with individual stakeholder groups (social care workers, policy makers, telecare installation technicians, older users, informal carers) and five conducted with mixed stakeholder groups. The focus groups used the same home care scenario to identify and categorise the different perceptions, attitudes, and expectations of the various stakeholders when discussing telecare implementation for a fictitious older couple. The emerging themes from the focus groups were analysed and categorised according to the Framework Analysis approach. We present a synthesised list of the current barriers to the uptake of ALTs and telecare ‐ and discuss how each of these barriers might be overcome. If these barriers are addressed, we believe telehealthcare technologies will be better designed, more usable, easier to prescribe effectively, more acceptable to more users in more contexts, and ultimately more common place in homes throughout the UK.

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Billie Oliver

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the health and well-being benefits of outdoor, cold water swimming.

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232

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the health and well-being benefits of outdoor, cold water swimming.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes the personal experience of one cold water swimmer. It also explores some of the research literature suggesting there is evidence of the benefits to the health and well-being of people of all ages.

Findings

The paper explores literature suggesting there is evidence of the benefits of “blue therapy” to the health and well-being of people of all ages.

Originality

This paper describes the personal experience of one cold water swimmer. However, a growing body of published literature suggests there is value in “blue therapy” informing future social prescribing programmes.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Book part
Publication date: 25 September 2020

Vita Yakovlyeva

Although the relation between individual and collective memory has been long established, analysis of individual memories is hardly existent within the social sciences…

Abstract

Although the relation between individual and collective memory has been long established, analysis of individual memories is hardly existent within the social sciences outside of psychoanalysis and developmental psychology. Working to overcome this gap, the author argues that children’s lives are heavily influenced by the structures of collective memory they are born into, available to children through the complex system of inter- and intragenerational relationships from very early on.

Drawing on the concepts of generation (Karl Mannheim), generagency (Madelaine Leonard), and collective memory (Maurice Halbwachs), the author establishes that the practise of intergeneratonal exchange of memories within the family provides a way to influence and overcome the limiting of children’s agency by social stratification determined by age.

Details

Bringing Children Back into the Family: Relationality, Connectedness and Home
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-197-6

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Clementine Femiola and Mary Tilki

The purpose of this paper is to describe a community-based peer support project in the London borough of Brent, led by people living with dementia for people living with dementia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a community-based peer support project in the London borough of Brent, led by people living with dementia for people living with dementia.

Design/methodology/approach

The Brent Dementia Peer Support Project is a collaboration between a social movement Community Action on Dementia Brent, Brent CCG, Brent Council, third-sector organisations and faith communities.

Findings

Stakeholder workshops, ethnographic research highlighted the need to support people living with dementia, especially by people who understand that experience. The findings also demonstrated the abilities and skills retained by people living with dementia, their wish to help others to contribute and to remain connected with their communities.

Research limitations/implications

This is an account of one pilot project in a London borough, but is broadly applicable elsewhere. Further research is needed into the values and practicalities of peer support by and for people living with dementia.

Practical implications

People with dementia and their carers lack accessible information and empathetic support to cope with the condition and live independently. This can be offered through dementia peer support services.

Social implications

There are growing numbers of people living with dementia who are motivated to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to improve the lives of other people with dementia.

Originality/value

This paper describes how people with dementia can be enabled to design, inform and deliver support to other people with the condition.

Details

Working with Older People, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-3666

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