Social Prescribing: A way forward in assisting self-management of osteoarthritis (OA)


Aims: To understand how social prescribing could be developed and implemented for individuals with OA. Specific objectives are: 

  • To undertake an evidence-based scan of social prescribing initiatives and the benefits in individuals with long-term conditions; 
  • To discuss the concept of social prescribing with individuals with osteoarthritis and determine their views and requirements; 
  • To work with primary care and voluntary organisations to determine how social prescribing for these individuals can be developed. 


Literature review; focus groups and stakeholder events


Individuals with OA find self-management a real challenge often requiring support from health professionals and others to manage more effectively their condition. Social prescribing involves the creation of pathways and partnerships, enabling primary care health professionals to refer to voluntary and community groups for individuals to access health resources and social support outside of the NHS. Social prescribing is a valuable asset enabling integrated care and support in local communities maximising population health and make the best use of resources.

We need to understand how social prescribing could be developed and implemented for individuals with OA. Working in collaboration with Pennine Musculoskeletal (MSK) Partnership, we aim to review the evidence on social prescribing and determine whether social prescribing could be a way forward in assisting with self-management of OA. Using the co-production concept, through stakeholder forums with patients, health professionals and the voluntary section, we will determine how social prescribing is best developed and implemented to support self-management of OA.


Dr Jill Firth, Pennine MSK Partnership, Dr Kate Farley 

Funding body: Pump Priming Funding SHC; £4800

Contact: Professor Gretl McHugh