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Results for 'evaluation'

Results 1 - 10 of 170

Impact of social prescribing to address loneliness: a mixed methods evaluation of a national social prescribing programme

FOSTER Alexis, et al
2021

Loneliness is considered a global public health issue because of its detrimental impact on physical and mental health but little is known about which interventions can reduce loneliness. One potential intervention is social prescribing, where a link worker helps service-users to access appropriate support such as community activities and social groups. Some qualitative studies have identified that social prescribing may help to reduce service-users’ loneliness. Given this, the British Red Cross (a third sector organisation) developed and delivered a national social prescribing service in the United Kingdom to support people who were experiencing, or at risk of, loneliness. Service-users could receive up to 12 weeks of support from a link worker. A mixed methods study was conducted to understand the impact of the support on loneliness, and to identify the facilitators and barriers to service delivery. The study included: (a) analysis of quantitative data collected routinely between May 2017 and December 2019 (n = 10,643) including pre-post analysis of UCLA data (n = 2,250) and matched comparator work to measure changes in loneliness; (b) semi-structured interviews with service-users, link workers and volunteers (n = 60) and (c) a Social Return on Investment Analysis. The majority of the service-users (72.6%, n = 1634/2250) felt less lonely after receiving support. The mean change in UCLA score was −1.84 (95% CI −1.91 to −1.77) of a maximum change of 6.00 (decrease indicates an improvement). Additional benefits included improved wellbeing, increased confidence and life having more purpose. The base case analysis estimated a social return on investment of £3.42 per £1 invested in the service. Having skilled link workers and support tailored to individual needs appeared key. However, challenges included utilising volunteers, meeting some service-users’ needs in relation to signposting and sustaining improvements in loneliness. Nonetheless, the service appeared successful in supporting service-users experiencing loneliness.

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

GOLDSMITH S., KOKOLAKAKIS T.
2021

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.

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

REINHARDT Gina Yannitell, VIDOVIC Dragana, HAMMERTON Clare
2021

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.

Social prescribing for people with complex needs: a realist evaluation

WOOD Emily, et al
2021

Background: Social Prescribing is increasingly popular, and several evaluations have shown positive results. However, Social Prescribing is an umbrella term that covers many different interventions. This study aimed to test, develop and refine a programme theory explaining the underlying mechanisms operating in Social Prescribing to better enhance its effectiveness by allowing it to be targeted to those who will benefit most, when they will benefit most. Methods: This study conducted a realist evaluation of a large Social Prescribing organisation in the North of England. Thirty-five interviews were conducted with stakeholders (clients attending Social Prescribing, Social Prescribing staff and general practice staff). Through an iterative process of analysis, a series of context-mechanism-outcome configurations were developed, refined and retested at a workshop of 15 stakeholders. The initial programme theory was refined, retested and ‘applied’ to wider theory. Results: Social Prescribing in this organisation was found to be only superficially similar to collaborative care. A complex web of contexts, mechanisms and outcomes for its clients are described. Key elements influencing outcomes described by stakeholders included social isolation and wider determinants of health; poor interagency communication for people with multiple needs. Successful Social Prescribing requires a non-stigmatising environment and person-centred care, and shares many features described by the asset-based theory of Salutogenesis. Conclusions: The Social Prescribing model studied is holistic and person-centred and as such enables those with a weak sense of coherence to strengthen this, access resistance resources, and move in a health promoting or salutogenic direction.

Community garden initiatives addressing health and well-being outcomes: a systematic review of infodemiology aspects, outcomes, and target populations

GREGIS Anna, et al
2021

Previous research has suggested that activities such as community gardens could offer a wide range of health benefits. The aim of the article is to systematically review the available literature to analyse the magnitude of the phenomenon, the geographical distribution, and the main characteristics in terms of health outcomes and target populations. The search addresses the question whether the activity in community gardens improves health and well-being outcomes of individuals. From the total amount of 7226, 84 selected articles showed that:(1) up to 50% are published by U.S. universities or institutions; (2) up to 44% of the studies considered “community gardens” as the main activity of the research focus; (3) one-third of the studies included adults; (4) almost 25% of the studies used “general health” as the main outcome when investigating the benefits of community gardens; (5) the percentage of studies that achieved their outcomes was heterogeneous among the different health dimensions. In conclusion, while a certain degree of heterogeneity in the used definition and outcome still exist, community gardens may be a viable strategy for well-being promotion in terms of psychological, social, and physical health and may be considered as an innovative urban strategy to promote urban public health.

Effect of layperson-delivered, empathy-focused program of telephone calls on loneliness, depression, and anxiety among adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic: a randomized clinical trial

KAHLON Maninder K., et al
2021

Importance Loneliness is a risk factor for many clinical conditions, but there are few effective interventions deployable at scale. Objective To determine whether a layperson-delivered, empathy-focused program of telephone calls could rapidly improve loneliness, depression, and anxiety in at-risk adults. Design, Setting, and Participants From July 6 to September 24, 2020, were recruited and followed up 240 adults who were assigned to receive calls (intervention group) or no calls (control group) via block randomization. Loneliness, depression, and anxiety were measured using validated scales at enrollment and after 4 weeks. Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted. Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX) clients received calls in their homes or wherever they might have been when the call was received. The study included MOWCTX clients who fit their service criteria, including being homebound and expressing a need for food. A total of 296 participants were screened, of whom 240 were randomized to intervention or control. Interventions Sixteen callers, aged 17 to 23 years, were briefly trained in empathetic conversational techniques. Each called 6 to 9 participants over 4 weeks daily for the first 5 days, after which clients could choose to drop down to fewer calls but no less than 2 calls a week. Main Outcomes and Measures Primary outcome was loneliness (3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale, range 3-9; and 6-item De Jong Giervald Loneliness [De Jong] Scale, range 0-6). Secondary outcomes were depression (Personal Health Questionnaire for Depression), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale), and self-rated health (Short Form Health Survey Questionnaire). Results The 240 participants were aged 27 to 101 years, with 63% aged at least 65 years (n = 149 of 232), 56% living alone (n = 135 of 240), 79% women (n = 190 of 240), 39% Black or African American (n = 94 of 240), and 22% Hispanic or Latino (n = 52 of 240), and all reported at least 1 chronic condition. Of 240 participants enrolled, 13 were lost to follow-up in the intervention arm and 1 in the control arm. Postassessment differences between intervention and control after 4 weeks showed an improvement of 1.1 on the UCLA Loneliness Scale (95% CI, 0.5-1.7; P < .001; Cohen d of 0.48), and improvement of 0.32 on De Jong (95% CI, −0.20 to 0.81; P = .06; Cohen d, 0.17) for loneliness; an improvement of 1.5 on the Personal Health Questionnaire for Depression (95% CI, 0.22-2.7; P < .001; Cohen d, 0.31) for depression; and an improvement of 1.8 on the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (95% CI, 0.44 to 3.2; P < .001; Cohen d, 0.35) for anxiety. General physical health on the Short Form Health Questionnaire Survey showed no change, but mental health improved by 2.6 (95% CI, 0.81 to 4.4; P = .003; Cohen d of 0.46). Conclusions and Relevance A layperson-delivered, empathy-oriented telephone call program reduced loneliness, depression, and anxiety compared with the control group and improved the general mental health of participants within 4 weeks. Future research can determine whether effects on depression and anxiety can be extended to maximize clinical relevance.

Rapid systematic review of systematic reviews: what befriending, social support and low intensity psychosocial interventions, delivered remotely, are effective in reducing social isolation and loneliness among older adults? How do they work?

BOULTON Elisabeth, et al
2020

[version 1; peer review: 2 approved with reservations] Background: During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, millions of older adults are advised to avoid contact with those outside their household. ‘Social distancing’ has highlighted the need to minimise loneliness and isolation through the provision of remotely delivered befriending, social support and low intensity psychosocial interventions. We wanted to know what interventions are effective and how they work to help inform decisions about different approaches. Methods: This study followed a systematic ‘review of reviews’ approach and included systematic reviews focussed on the effectiveness or implementation of remote interventions to reduce levels of social isolation or loneliness in adults aged 50+. Searches of 11 databases were undertaken during April 2020 and eligible reviews were critically appraised using AMSTAR2. Narrative synthesis was used at a review and study level to develop a typology of intervention types and their effectiveness. Intervention Component Analysis (ICA) and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) were used at a study level to explore the characteristics of successful interventions. Results: This study synthesised evidence from five systematic reviews and 18 primary studies. Remote befriending, social support and low intensity psychosocial interventions took the form of: (i) supported video-communication; (ii) online discussion groups and forums; (iii) telephone befriending; (iv) social networking sites; and (v) multi-tool interventions. The majority of studies utilised the first two approaches, and were generally regarded positively by older adults, although with mixed quantitative evidence around effectiveness. Focussing on processes and mechanisms, using ICA and QCA, this study found that the interventions that were most effective in improving social support: (i) enabled participants to speak freely and to form close relationships; (ii) ensured participants have shared experiences/characteristics; (iii) included some form of pastoral guidance. Conclusions: The findings highlight a set of intervention processes that should be incorporated into interventions, although they do not lead us to recommend particular modes of remote support.

Good Friends for All: age-friendly and inclusive volunteering grant programme evaluation

CENTRE FOR AGEING BETTER
2021

An evaluation of the Good Friends for All project, which works by matching together people self-referred or referred into the service with a volunteer “Good Friend” based on their needs and interests who can help with a range of issues. The Good Friends for All project builds on, and learns from, a similar scheme in Darlington and involvement in the Centre for Ageing Better’s original community research and review into age-friendly and inclusive volunteering. Good Friends for All appears to have a positive impact on the people supported and the volunteers themselves, helping improve social connections, health and well-being and generating a sense of purpose and value. The scheme has been enhanced through efforts to address barriers and embed age-friendly and inclusive volunteering principles and practice, such as trying to increase the support available to volunteers and make volunteering more flexible, so that it suits different circumstances. The project has highlighted the challenges of attracting new volunteers, although this has changed somewhat following the growth in volunteer numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project has also highlighted the challenges of making changes to longstanding, pre-existing services and models (the project has adopted an existing Good Friends scheme established in a neighbouring area, while it has sought to adapt an existing, long-established befriending scheme in North Craven). Such situations may require a longer-term, gradual, cultural-change approach to embedding age-friendly and inclusive principles and practice in such instances where ingrained systems, processes and attitudes exist, and where working with new partners and establishing new relationships is required. The project is committed to continuing, developing and growing the scheme using other funding sources. It is also intending to continue promoting and embedding age-friendly and inclusive volunteering principles and practice within the scheme, the local Age UK partners and amongst other local organisations.

Social isolation and psychological distress among older adults related to COVID-19: a narrative review of remotely-delivered interventions and recommendations

GORENKO Julie A., et al
2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with several short- and long-term negative impacts on the well-being of older adults. Physical distancing recommendations to reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV2-19 virus increase the risk of social isolation and loneliness, which are associated with negative outcomes including anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and mortality. Taken together, social isolation and additional psychological impacts of the pandemic (e.g., worry, grief) underscore the importance of intervention efforts to older adults. This narrative review draws upon a wide range of evidence to provide a comprehensive overview of appropriate remotely-delivered interventions for older adults that target loneliness and psychological symptoms. These include interventions delivered by a range of individuals (i.e., community members to mental health professionals), and interventions that vary by implementation (e.g., self-guided therapy, remotely-delivered interventions via telephone or video call). Recommendations to overcome barriers to implementation and delivery are provided, with consideration given to the different living situations.

Late Spring: age-friendly and inclusive volunteering grant programme evaluation

CENTRE FOR AGEING BETTER
2021

An evaluation of Late Spring, an established bereavement support project for people in later life to provide mutual support, help people remember there is still ‘life to live’ and ‘look to the future without forgetting’. The support groups run twice a month in community venues and are designed to provide space for those aged 60+ who have been bereaved. They come together in a relaxed, warm, friendly and safe environment ‘with others who understand’, as they begin to face the reality of life without their loved one. Groups are facilitated by a trained community worker, often supported by volunteers. These groups have a mixture of both restorative and informative sessions based around tea, coffee, cake and the occasional meal and activity. People attend for between 12–24 months, though some remain with the group as volunteers. At the start of this grant programme there were 18 groups involving approximately 250 people across Oxfordshire. The Late Spring project highlights the challenges of integrating age-friendly and inclusive volunteering within an existing, successful project, ensuring that it enhances rather than undermines the service, while embedding age-friendly and inclusive volunteering principles and overcomes the barriers. This model has helped increase awareness and interest in volunteering amongst Late Springers, as well as increase their confidence to volunteer. Consequently, it has supported some Late Springers into helping more or rekindled interest in volunteering, resulting in positive experiences. In the process, the approach has enhanced the Late Spring project and helped improve its outcomes. This has been achieved by helping Late Springers recover and look to the future, increasing their confidence, reducing isolation, promoting being active and improving well-being.

Results 1 - 10 of 170

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LAUGH research project

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