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Author(s): Costa, A.
Henriques, J.
Alarcão, V.
Madeira, T.
Virgolino, A.
Polley, M. J.
Henriques, A.
Feteira-Santos, R.
Arriaga. M.
Nogueira, P.
Date: 2024
Title: “You get out of the house, you talk to each other, you laugh…And that’s fantastic”: A qualitative study about older people’s perceptions of social prescribing in mainland Portugal
Journal title: BMC Health Services Research
Volume: 24
Reference: Costa, A., Henriques, J., Alarcão, V., Madeira, T., Virgolino, A., Polley, M. J., Henriques, A., Feteira-Santos, R., Arriaga. M., & Nogueira, P. (2024). “You get out of the house, you talk to each other, you laugh…And that’s fantastic”: A qualitative study about older people’s perceptions of social prescribing in mainland Portugal. BMC Health Services Research, 24, Article 645.
ISSN: 1472-6963
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1186/s12913-024-11086-w
Keywords: Focus groups
Qualitative research
Community participation
Older adults
Active and healthy aging
Abstract: Background Social prescribing (SP) is a non-clinical approach, most commonly based in healthcare units, that aims to address non-medical health-related social needs by connecting individuals with community-based services. This qualitative study explores the perception of Portuguese older adults regarding the benefits of SP and their willingness to participate in SP initiatives. Methods Three face-to-face focus group sessions were conducted with 23 participants in different cities in Portugal. Open and semi-open questions were used to guide the discussions and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Results The participants recognized the potential benefits of SP for older adults, including diversifying leisure activities, improving mental health, and complementing existing support systems. They highlighted the need for external support, usually in the form of link workers, to facilitate personalized referrals and consider individual characteristics and preferences. While some participants expressed reluctance to engage in SP due to their existing busy schedules and a perceived sense of imposition, others showed openness to having new experiences and recognized the potential value of SP in promoting activity. Barriers to participation, including resistance to change, mobility issues, and family responsibilities, were identified. Conclusions The study emphasizes the importance of a person-centered and co-designed approach to SP, involving older adults in the planning and implementation of interventions. The findings provide valuable insights for the development of SP programs tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of older adults in Portugal, ultimately promoting active and healthy aging. Future research should consider the perspectives of family doctors and include a broader representation of older adults from diverse geographic areas.
Peerreviewed: yes
Access type: Open Access
Appears in Collections:CIES-RI - Artigos em revistas científicas internacionais com arbitragem científica

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