Burns Cunningham K, Rogowsky RH, Carstairs SA, Sullivan F & Ozakinci G (2023) Progressing social prescribing with a focus on process of connection: Evidence-informed guidance for robust evaluation and evidence synthesis. Public Health in Practice, 5, Art. No.: 100380. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhip.2023.100380
Each element of this [the social prescribing] system requires a robust and relevant evidence base.  Social prescribing, also known as community referral, is gaining international recognition as a tool holding benefits for individuals, health care systems, and societies . It has been referred to as “an innovative approach to public health”  (p. 117), and is recommended as an advantageous method to help facilitate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic . Social prescribing schemes involve health or social care professionals connecting individuals (patients) with local community-based opportunities, such as gardening clubs or walking groups, to improve those individuals’ health and wellbeing (physical, mental and/or social) . Connections can be made through a direct route (health or social care professional to an opportunity) or an indirect route (health or social care professional to social prescribing professional – usually referred to as ‘link worker’ or ‘community connector’ – to an
opportunity). Various methods of connection can be used: signposting, prescription or referral in a direct route, and a combination of these in an indirect route .
Public Health in Practice: Volume 5