Reporting Standards and Evaluation Framework for Social Prescribing: A Delphi Study

Sarah Wallace, Carolyn Wallace, Johanna Davies, Kevin Swingler

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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Abstract

Social prescribing is ‘a way of connecting people, whatever their age or background, with their community to better manage their health and wellbeing’ (WG, 2023, p.1). A complex intervention, social prescribing involves multiple stakeholders, models, user types, varying aims, and a range of outcomes that may result from the intervention. Given this complexity, there are challenges to evaluating social prescribing and evaluations have faced criticism e.g., a lack of quality and limited reporting regarding their approach, methodology, data collection and analysis.

Issues regarding rigour and transparency of reporting within social prescribing evaluations have created difficulties to assess the quality of evidence. Policy makers, commissioners, practitioners, and researchers acknowledge the need to develop the social prescribing evidence base, yet no evaluation framework to undertake robust social prescribing evaluations currently exists.

Aim:
This study builds on the work of ACCORD – a multi-phase programme of research comprising a realist review2 and two consensus studies. The aim is to produce a quality social prescribing evaluation framework and reporting standards for social prescribing evaluation. Both the framework and reporting standards are intended to build research capacity amongst academics and non-academics (e.g., third sector, public sector) to develop and deliver rigorous evaluations, increasing the quality of the evidence base and credibility of social prescribing evaluations, benefitting users, professionals, researchers, organisations, decision-makers, and commissioners.

Report:
The following report presents the findings of an international online Delphi study which sought consensus on the items for inclusion within a quality social prescribing evaluation framework and reporting standards for social prescribing evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of South Wales
Number of pages20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

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