Social prescribing in the U.S. and England: Emerging interventions to address patients' social needs
There is growing interest in the role of healthcare systems in addressing patients’ social needs. This is no surprise; evidence on the impact of social factors on population health is well established. People’s education, income, housing, and other social issues have a major impact on their health—a bigger impact, by most estimates, than health care. These social factors, in turn, shape people’s health behaviors, such as diet and physical activity, acting as the causes of the causes of disease. Yet, despite a substantial body of evidence documenting the impact of the social determinants of health, far less is known about what healthcare systems can best do to address them.
This commentary summarizes and compares social prescribing activities in the US and UK and highlights some of the challenges and opportunities facing the development of social prescribing activities in both countries, including evidence gaps, social services capacity concerns, and payment reform opportunities.
Alderwick HAJ, Gottlieb LM, Fichtenberg CM, Adler NE. Social prescribing in the U.S. and England: Emerging interventions to address patients' social needs. Am J Prev Med. 2018;54(5):715-718. PMID: 29551326. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2018.01.039.