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Review

Can Social Prescribing Foster Individual and Community Well-Being? A Systematic Review of the Evidence

Department of Government, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Meng-Chih Lee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5276; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105276
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 29 April 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 15 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Social prescribing programmes (SP) are person-centred coaching schemes meant to help participants improve individual circumstances, thereby to reduce demand on health and social care. SP could be an innovative means to improve preventive and public health in the pursuit of universal financially sustainable healthcare. Given its potential, our systematic review assesses type, content, and quality of evidence available regarding SP effectiveness at the individual, system, and community levels. We examine the impact of SP on addressing loneliness, social isolation, well-being, and connectedness, as well as related concepts, which are not yet considered jointly in one study. Following PRISMA, we search: EBSCOHost (CINAHL Complete; eBook Collection; E-Journals; MEDLINE Full Text; Open Dissertations; PsycARTICLES; PsycINFO); Web of Science Core Collection; and UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Excluding systematic reviews and articles without impact evaluations, we review 51 studies. Several studies do not distinguish between core concepts and/or provide information on the measures used to assess outcomes; exactly one peer-reviewed study presents a randomised controlled trial. If we wish to know the potential of social prescribing to lead to universal financially sustainable healthcare, we urge researchers and practitioners to standardise definitions and metrics, and to explore conceptual linkages between social prescribing and system/community outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: social prescribing; public health; isolation; loneliness; well-being; connectedness; systematic review social prescribing; public health; isolation; loneliness; well-being; connectedness; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vidovic, D.; Reinhardt, G.Y.; Hammerton, C. Can Social Prescribing Foster Individual and Community Well-Being? A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5276. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105276

AMA Style

Vidovic D, Reinhardt GY, Hammerton C. Can Social Prescribing Foster Individual and Community Well-Being? A Systematic Review of the Evidence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(10):5276. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105276

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vidovic, Dragana; Reinhardt, Gina Y.; Hammerton, Clare. 2021. "Can Social Prescribing Foster Individual and Community Well-Being? A Systematic Review of the Evidence" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 10: 5276. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105276

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