|Title||Capturing the whole effect of social prescribing – meaningful outcomes and theoretical positions|
|Authors||Polley, M. and Fixsen, Alison|
Introduction: Measuring outcomes and impact of social prescribing has been driven by biomedical models of health. Many benefits of social prescribing relate to the wider determinants of health and are achieved by the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. This paper will examine what outcomes are being missed out and the resulting shift in theoretical positioning needed to sustainably value all social prescribing stakeholders.
Methods: Phase 1: Outcomes in grey and peer-reviewed social prescribing literature were identified by searching key databases and reference lists up to March 2018.
Phase 2: Sixteen interviews and 2 focus groups were conducted. Additional outcomes experienced in social prescribing link worker schemes in the UK were identified. Participants represented the VCSE sector, social care, community pharmacy, ambulance service, housing organisations, legal support and welfare advice. Qualitative data was thematically analysed and compared to existing social prescribing literature.
Results: 99 individual outcomes were identified cumulatively in Phase 1 and Phase 2, 60% of which were not routinely measured. Outcomes were split into 1) determinants of health; 2) health related. Of note was the identification of spiritual wellbeing as a specific category, the clear lack of value on wider determinants of health and the need to recognise interactions between individuals and their communities as an outcome. The full range of outcomes mapped most accurately onto a Community Capitals framework.
Conclusion: Social prescribing needs to be economically sustainable with all stakeholder groups to be valued and funded appropriately. The multi-sector nature of social prescribing needs recognising in the underlying theoretical framework used to inform research and evaluation. Our research identified many outcomes currently unreported and we propose testing the use of a community capitals framework as an underpinning theoretical model for social prescribing to fully value the contributions of and benefits to all stakeholders.
|social determinants of health|
|community capitals framework|
|Journal||European Journal of Integrative Medicine|
|Accepted author manuscript|
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2021.102006|
|Published||17 Dec 2021|