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Results 21 - 30 of 785

Ambient assisted living technologies to support older adults’ health and wellness: a systematic mapping review


While the proportion of the Older Adults (OAs) population is growing, this shift raises a challenging question: “How can we support OAs to lead independent and healthy lifestyle?”. Many researchers have been studying Ambient Assisted Living Technologies (or AALTs) over the last three decades to tackle this challenge. However, no literature can provide an overall view of research in the field of AALTs and linkages between technical development and related healthcare needs. Thus, we conducted a systematic mapping review of literature focusing on AALTs (N = 7006) to explore three main research questions: 1) When, where, and how AALTs are studied?; 2) What is the technological maturity level of AALTs used to support a health and wellness, and where were they evaluated and/or implemented?; and 3) To which health and wellness purposes are AALTs deployed? We found several noticeable imbalances in literature and identified some strategies to move this field of investigation further and to bring AALTs applications clser to clinical practice. While research in the area is gradually blossoming, the area mainly leads in only a few countries. Furthermore, the majority of research targeted asymptomatic older adults living at home. We hope this paper will help researchers easily understand what type of research, with whom, and where are available in AALT now. Potential challenges associated with AALTs research are also discussed.

Evidence on the contribution of community gardens to promote physical and mental health and well-being of non-institutionalized individuals: a systematic review

LAMPERT Tarsila, et al

Objectives: To synthetize the literature about physical and mental health outcomes associated with community gardening. Two main questions were addressed: a) is there evidence, from quantitative studies, that community gardening is associated to physical and mental health and well-being of non-institutionalized individuals? b) Does community gardening provokes any discomfort in terms of physical health, i.e., bodily pain, to their beneficiaries? Methods: A systematic review of the literature was carried out following PRISMA guidelines by searching relevant electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science). Empirical, quantitative studies published in English with no restrictions concerning the date of publication were considered eligible. The quality of the evidence was appraised using the tool developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. Results: Overall, 8 studies were considered eligible, of which seven studies were rated as having good methodological quality (one scored as fair). Community gardeners had significantly better health outcomes than their neighbours not engaged in gardening activities in terms of life satisfaction, happiness, general health, mental health, and social cohesion. Conclusion: Community gardens are associated to health gains for their users, irrespective of age, being an affordable and efficient way of promoting physical and mental health and well-being. To encourage the design, maintenance, and prospective evaluation of supportive urban environments promoting healthy and, at the same time, sustainable lifestyles, is essential to achieve public health gains and environmental sustainability.

A cost-effectiveness evaluation of Dance to Health: a dance-based falls prevention exercise programme in England


Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate whether the falls prevention programme Dance to Health provides the health system with an effective and cost-effective means to address the issue of older people's falls. Study design: This study used a pre-post design; that is, the same assessment measures were used both before and after the programme. Methods: Analysis and modelling were conducted using monitoring data (frequencies including session attendance, falls, general practitioner (GP) and hospital visits), comprehensive financial information (including all costs related to the delivery of Dance to Health), and the Public Health England economic model: ‘A return on investment tool for falls prevention programmes in older people based in the community’. Results: Findings from the research show that under the suggested health intervention, there was a 58% reduction in the number of falls. Furthermore, the results also demonstrate that Dance to Health offers a potential cost saving of more than £196m over a 2-year period, of which £158m is a potential cost saving for the NHS. Conclusions: The evidence outlines that Dance to Health offers the health system a cost-effective means to address the issue of older people's falls and most importantly a method that produces strong results in terms of falls prevention.

Interventions for preventing falls and fall-related fractures in community-dwelling older adults: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

DAUTZENBERG Lauren, et al

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of single, multiple, and multifactorial interventions to prevent falls and fall-related fractures in community-dwelling older persons. Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the effectiveness of fall prevention interventions in community-dwelling adults aged ≥65 years, from inception until February 27, 2019. Two large RCTs (published in 2020 after the search closed) were included in post hoc analyses. Pairwise meta-analysis and network meta-analysis (NMA) were conducted. Results: NMA including 192 studies revealed that the following single interventions, compared with usual care, were associated with reductions in number of fallers: exercise (risk ratio [RR] 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77–0.89) and quality improvement strategies (e.g., patient education) (RR 0.90; 95% CI 0.83–0.98). Exercise as a single intervention was associated with a reduction in falls rate (RR 0.79; 95% CI 0.73–0.86). Common components of multiple interventions significantly associated with a reduction in number of fallers and falls rate were exercise, assistive technology, environmental assessment and modifications, quality improvement strategies, and basic falls risk assessment (e.g., medication review). Multifactorial interventions were associated with a reduction in falls rate (RR 0.87; 95% CI 0.80–0.95), but not with a reduction in number of fallers (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.89–1.01). The following single interventions, compared with usual care, were associated with reductions in number of fall-related fractures: basic falls risk assessment (RR 0.60; 95% CI 0.39–0.94) and exercise (RR 0.62; 95% CI 0.42–0.90). Conclusions: In keeping with Tricco et al. (2017), several single and multiple fall prevention interventions are associated with fewer falls. In addition to Tricco, we observe a benefit at the NMA-level of some single interventions on preventing fall-related fractures.

Understanding loneliness: a systematic review of the impact of social prescribing initiatives on loneliness

REINHARDT Gina Yannitell, VIDOVIC Dragana, HAMMERTON Clare

Aims: The aim of this systematic literature review is to assess the impact of social prescribing (SP) programmes on loneliness among participants and the population. Methods: This study followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to search EBSCOHost (CINAHL Complete, eBook Collection, E-Journals, MEDLINE with Full Text, Open Dissertations, PsycARTICLES, and PsycINFO), UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Web of Science Core Collection, and grey literature. This study included studies measuring the effectiveness and impact of SP programmes in terms of loneliness. This study excluded systematic reviews and studies without evaluations. Due to the absence of confidence intervals and the low number of studies, the researchers conduct no meta-analysis. Results: From 4415 unique citations, nine articles met the inclusion criteria. The studies do not use uniform measures or randomised samples. All nine studies report positive individual impacts; three report reductions in general practitioner (GP), A&E, social worker, or inpatient/outpatient services; and one shows that belonging to a group reduces loneliness and healthcare usage. Conclusion: The findings of this systematic review indicate that individuals and service providers view SP as a helpful tool to address loneliness. However, evidence variability and the small number of studies make it difficult to draw a conclusion on the extent of the impact and the pathways to achieving positive change. More research is needed into the impact of SP programmes on participants, populations, and communities in terms of loneliness, isolation, and connectedness, especially in light of the surge in SP activity as a key part of pandemic response.

Efficacy of exercise-based interventions in preventing falls among community-dwelling older persons with cognitive impairment: is there enough evidence? An updated systematic review and meta-analysis

LI Fuzhong, et al

Objective: Exercise prevents falls in the general older population, but evidence is inconclusive for older adults living with cognitive impairment. This study is an updated systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the potential effectiveness of interventions for reducing falls in older persons with cognitive impairment. Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Scopus, CENTRAL and PEDro were searched from inception to 10 November 2020. This study included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effects of physical training compared to a control condition (usual care, waitlist, education, placebo control) on reducing falls among community-dwelling older adults with cognitive impairment (i.e. any stage of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, mild cognitive impairment). Results: This study identified and meta-analysed nine studies, published between 2013 and 2020, that included 12 comparisons (N = 1,411; mean age = 78 years; 56% women). Overall, in comparison to control, interventions produced a statistically significant reduction of approximately 30% in the rate of falls (incidence rate ratio = 0.70; 95% CI, 0.52-0.95). There was significant between-trial heterogeneity (I2 = 74%), with most trials (n = 6 studies [eight comparisons]) showing no reductions on fall rates. Subgroup analyses showed no differences in the fall rates by trial-level characteristics. Exercise-based interventions had no impact on reducing the number of fallers (relative risk = 1.01; 95% CI, 0.90–1.14). Concerns about risk of bias in these RCTs were noted, and the quality of evidence was rated as low. Conclusions: The positive statistical findings on reducing fall rate in this meta-analysis were driven by a few studies. Therefore, current evidence is insufficient to inform evidence-based recommendations or treatment decisions for clinical practice.

Can social prescribing foster individual and community well-being? A systematic review of the evidence

VIDOVIC Dragana, REINHARDT Gina Yannitell, HAMMERTON Clare

Social prescribing programmes (SP) are person-centred coaching schemes meant to help participants improve individual circumstances, thereby to reduce demand on health and social care. SP could be an innovative means to improve preventive and public health in the pursuit of universal financially sustainable healthcare. Given its potential, our systematic review assesses type, content, and quality of evidence available regarding SP effectiveness at the individual, system, and community levels. This study examine the impact of SP on addressing loneliness, social isolation, well-being, and connectedness, as well as related concepts, which are not yet considered jointly in one study. Following PRISMA, search: EBSCOHost (CINAHL Complete; eBook Collection; E-Journals; MEDLINE Full Text; Open Dissertations; PsycARTICLES; PsycINFO); Web of Science Core Collection; and UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Excluding systematic reviews and articles without impact evaluations, this study reviewed 51 studies. Several studies do not distinguish between core concepts and/or provide information on the measures used to assess outcomes; exactly one peer-reviewed study presents a randomised controlled trial. If we wish to know the potential of social prescribing to lead to universal financially sustainable healthcare, we urge researchers and practitioners to standardise definitions and metrics, and to explore conceptual linkages between social prescribing and system/community outcomes

Towards a contemporary social care ‘prevention narrative’ of principled complexity: an integrative literature review

VERITY Fiona, et al

Prevention has become increasingly central in social care policy and commissioning strategies within the United Kingdom (UK). Commonly there is reliance on understandings borrowed from the sphere of public health, leaning on a prevention discourse characterised by the 'upstream and downstream' metaphor. Whilst framing both structural factors and responses to individual circumstances, the public health approach nonetheless suggests linearity in a cause and effect relationship. Social care and illness follow many trajectories and this conceptualisation of prevention may limit its effectiveness and scope in social care. Undertaken as part of a commissioned evaluation of the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (2014) Wales, a systematic integrative review was conducted to establish the key current debates within prevention work, and how prevention is conceptually framed, implemented and evaluated within the social care context. The databases Scopus, ASSIA, CINAHL and Social Care Online were initially searched in September 2019 resulting in 52 documents being incorporated for analysis. A further re-run of searches was run in March 2021, identifying a further 14 documents, thereby creating a total of 66. Predominantly, these were journal articles or research reports (n = 53), with the remainder guidance or strategy documents, briefings or process evaluations (n = 13). These were categorised by their primary theme and focus, as well as document format and research method before undergoing thematic analysis. This highlighted the continued prominence of three-tiered, linear public health narratives in the framing of prevention for social care, with prevention work often categorised and enacted with inconsistency. Common drivers for prevention activity continue to be cost reduction and reduced dependence on the care system in the future. Through exploring prevention for older people and caregivers, we argue for an approach to prevention aligning with the complexities of the social world surrounding it. Building on developments in complexity theory in social science and healthcare, we offer an alternative view of social care prevention guided by principles rooted in the everyday realities of communities, service users and caregivers.

A systematic scoping review of community-based interventions for the prevention of mental ill-health and the promotion of mental health in older adults in the UK

LEE Caroline, et al

Background: Mental health concerns in older adults are common, with increasing age-related risks to physical health, mobility and social isolation. Community-based approaches are a key focus of public health strategy in the UK, and may reduce the impact of these risks, protecting mental health and promoting wellbeing. This study conducted a review of UK community-based interventions to understand the types of intervention studied and mental health/wellbeing impacts reported. Method: This study conducted a scoping review of the literature, systematically searching six electronic databases (2000–2020) to identify academic studies of any non-clinical community intervention to improve mental health or wellbeing outcomes for older adults. Data were extracted, grouped by population targeted, intervention type, and outcomes reported, and synthesised according to a framework categorising community actions targeting older adults. Results: In total, 1,131 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility and 54 included in the final synthesis. Example interventions included: link workers; telephone helplines; befriending; digital support services; group social activities. These were grouped into: connector services, gateway services/approaches, direct interventions and systems approaches. These interventions aimed to address key risk factors: loneliness, social isolation, being a caregiver and living with long-term health conditions. Outcome measurement varied greatly, confounding strong evidence in favour of particular intervention types. Conclusion: The literature is wide-ranging in focus and methodology. Greater specificity and consistency in outcome measurement are required to evidence effectiveness – no single category of intervention yet stands out as ‘promising’. More robust evidence on the active components of interventions to promote older adult's mental health is required.

Timebanking and the co‐production of preventive social care with adults; what can we learn from the challenges of implementing person‐to‐person timebanks in England?

NAUGHTON‐DOE Ruth, et al

This paper explores the potential contribution of timebanking, an innovative volunteering scheme, to the co‐production of preventive social care with adults in England. Interest in volunteering in social care has increased as one proposed solution to the international crisis of a rising demand for services in juxtaposition with decreased resources. Volunteering has been particularly promoted in preventive services that prevent or delay care needs arising. Despite sustained interest in volunteering and co‐production in social care, little is known about how theory translates into practice. Reporting implementation data from a Realistic Evaluation of six case studies in England, this paper explores one volunteering scheme, timebanking. The research explores how timebanks were working, what contribution they can make to adult social care, and whether they are an example of co‐production. Data collected included interviews, focus groups or open question responses on surveys from 84 timebank members, and semi‐structured interviews with 13 timebank staff. Each timebank was visited at least twice, and all timebank activity was analysed for a period of 12 months. Data were triangulated to improve reliability. The research found that in practice, timebanks were not working as described in theory, there were small numbers of person‐to‐person exchanges and some timebanks had abandoned this exchange model. Timebanks faced significant implementation challenges including managing risk and safeguarding and the associated bureaucracy, a paternalistic professional culture and the complexity of the timebank mechanism which required adequate resources. Lessons for timebanks are identified, as well as transferable lessons about co‐production and volunteering in social care if such schemes are to be successful in the future.

Results 21 - 30 of 785


Prevention in social care

Prevention in social care What it means, the policy context, role for commissioners and practitioners and the evidence base.

H4All wellbeing service

H4All wellbeing service Practice example about how H4All Wellbeing Service is using the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) tool

Moving Memory

Moving Memory Practice example about how the Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company is challenging perceived notions of age and ageing.

Chatty Cafe Scheme

Chatty Cafe Scheme Practice example about how the Chatty Cafe Scheme is helping to tackle loneliness by bringing people of all ages together

Oomph! Wellness

Oomph! Wellness Practice example about how Oomph! Wellness is supporting staff to get older adults active and combat growing levels of social isolation

LAUGH research project

LAUGH research project Practice example about a research project to develop highly personalised, playful objects for people with advanced dementia


KOMP Practice example about how KOMP, designed by No Isolation is helping older people stay connected with their families
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