A Systematic Review to Examine the Evidence in Developing Social Prescribing Interventions That Apply a Co-Productive, Co-Designed Approach to Improve Well-Being Outcomes in a Community Setting

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 8;18(8):3896. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18083896.


This systematic review aims to investigate the evidence in applying a co-design, co-productive approach to develop social prescribing interventions. A growing body of evidence suggests that co-production and co-design are methods that can be applied to engage service users as knowledgeable assets who can contribute to developing sustainable health services. Applying the Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic literature search was conducted. Peer-reviewed articles were sought using electronic databases, experts and grey literature. The review search concluded with eight observational studies. Quality appraisal methods were influenced by the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Framework approach. A narrative thematic synthesis of the results was conducted. The evidence suggests that a co-design and co-productive social prescribing can lead to positive well-being outcomes among communities. Barriers and facilitators of co-production and co-design approach were also highlighted within the evidence. The evidence within this review confirms that a co-production and co-design would be an effective approach to engage stakeholders in the development and implementation of a SP intervention within a community setting. The evidence also implies that SP initiatives can be enhanced from the outset, by drawing on stakeholder knowledge to design a service that improves health and well-being outcomes for community members.

Keywords: co-design; co-production; effectiveness assessment; health; health equity; healthy people programs; patient-centred care; social determinants of health; social prescribing; well-being.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Services*