• Evaluating the implementation and delivery of a social prescribing intervention: a research protocol

      Pescheny, Julia Vera; Pappas, Yannis; Randhawa, Gurch; University of Bedfordshire (Ubiquity Press Ltd, 2018-03-21)
      Background: In response to the increasing numbers of people with (multiple) chronic conditions, the need for integrated care is increasing too. Social prescribing is a new approach that aims to integrate the social and healthcare sector to improve the quality of care and user experience. Understanding main stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences is key to the implementation of social prescription and for informing future initiatives.  Objectives: This paper presents the protocol of a qualitative research study to explore factors that (i) facilitate and hinder the implementation of a social prescribing pilot in the East of England, and (ii) affect the uptake, adherence, and completion rates by service users.  Methods: A qualitative study including semi-structured interviews with managers, health professionals, service providers, navigators, and service users. Iterative thematic analysis will be used to analyse the data.  Conclusion: This study will produce evidence on factors that hinder and facilitate the implementation of a social prescribing programme, as well as factors affecting the engagement, and non-engagement, of service users. Findings can contribute to the development of an evidence base for social prescription programmes in the UK, and inform practice, policy, and future research in the field.