• 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.
    • Patient uptake and adherence to social prescribing: a qualitative study

      Pescheny, Julia Vera; Randhawa, Gurch; Pappas, Yannis; University of Bedfordshire (Royal College of General Practitioners, 2018-08-08)
      Social prescription is an initiative that aims to link patients in primary care with sources of support within the community and voluntary sector to improve their health, wellbeing, and care experience. Such programmes usually include navigators, who work with referred patients and issue onward referrals to sources of non-medical support. Most research on social prescribing (SP) has focused on outcome evaluations, resulting in a knowledge gap of factors affecting uptake and adherence. Understanding such factors enables the refinement of programmes, which has the potential to enhance uptake and adherence, reduce health inequalities, and optimise investment. Aim To explore the experiences and views of service users, involved GPs, and navigators on factors influencing uptake and adherence to SP. Design & setting Qualitative interviews were conducted with stakeholders involved in an SP programme in the east of England (Luton). Method Data were collected from semi-structured face-to-face interviews with service users, navigators, and GPs. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results Factors affecting uptake and adherence to SP were related to patients’ trust in GPs, navigators' initial phone call, supportive navigators and service providers, free services, and perceived need and benefits. Reported barriers to uptake and adherence were fear of stigma of psychosocial problems, patient expectations, and the short-term nature of the programme. Conclusion This study provides an insight into factors affecting patient uptake and adherence to SP programmes. More research in this field, including patients who refused to participate in SP, is needed. Go to: Social prescription is an initiative that aims to link patients in primary care with sources of support within the community and voluntary sector to improve their health, wellbeing, and care experience. Such programmes usually include navigators, who work with referred patients and issue onward referrals to sources of non-medical support. Most research on social prescribing (SP) has focused on outcome evaluations, resulting in a knowledge gap of factors affecting uptake and adherence. Understanding such factors enables the refinement of programmes, which has the potential to enhance uptake and adherence, reduce health inequalities, and optimise investment. Aim To explore the experiences and views of service users, involved GPs, and navigators on factors influencing uptake and adherence to SP. Design & setting Qualitative interviews were conducted with stakeholders involved in an SP programme in the east of England (Luton). Method Data were collected from semi-structured face-to-face interviews with service users, navigators, and GPs. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results Factors affecting uptake and adherence to SP were related to patients’ trust in GPs, navigators' initial phone call, supportive navigators and service providers, free services, and perceived need and benefits. Reported barriers to uptake and adherence were fear of stigma of psychosocial problems, patient expectations, and the short-term nature of the programme. Conclusion This study provides an insight into factors affecting patient uptake and adherence to SP programmes. More research in this field, including patients who refused to participate in SP, is needed.