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Our scoping review will explore existing research on physical activity-based interventions, aiming to understand their alignment with social prescribing pathways in UK primary care.
We will systematically categorise the literature, specifically focussing on the roles of link workers and health coaches. Our objective is to identify knowledge gaps and areas of uncertainty, provide valuable insights into how to optimise social prescribing pathways, inform future practice and policy, and enhance patient well being through physical activity.

Part of our Changing behaviours for better health and preventing disease research theme.

There are no team members found



The scoping review aims to address the following research questions: 

  • What types of evidence exists for physical activity-based prescribing in UK primary care settings?
  • How does the evidence map to the existing social prescribing pathway in UK primary care?
  • What uncertainties does the evidence address?
  • How well have uncertainties been addressed and what uncertainties remain?



Concrete Outputs:

  • Research Landscape Mapping: A comprehensive compilation of interventions in physical activity-based social prescribing;
  • Foundational Resource: This mapping will underpin subsequent reviews, synthesising available evidence;
  • Actionable Insights: Providing clear recommendations for practitioners and policymakers.

Steps to Realise Impact:

  • Engagement with Stakeholders: Sharing findings through conferences, publications, and online platforms;
  • Knowledge Exchange Workshops: Conducting interactive sessions with key stakeholders;
  • Engagement with Decision-Makers: Presenting findings to parliamentary groups and local health decision-makers;
  • Development of Implementation Tools: Creating practical tools based on our research for real-world application;


Expected Impact

Individual Patients and Populations:

On a personal level, the project aims to improve the health and wellbeing of patients engaged in social prescribing, potentially impacting thousands. By enhancing understanding of physical activity-based interventions and their delivery, we expect better patient outcomes and improved quality of life.

Health and Social Care System:

Systemically, the project has the potential to inform policy and practice, leading to more efficient social prescribing pathways around physical activity. This could result in cost savings for the NHS and social care services, as optimized social prescribing reduces reliance on more traditional forms of healthcare.

Other Relevant Groups:

The project is also likely to benefit clinical providers, policymakers, and voluntary sector organisations by providing insights and practical tools for effective social prescribing practices around physical activity.

In terms of timescale, initial impacts could be observed within the first year after completion, with more substantial changes unfolding over several years. The project aims to contribute to a shift in understanding and implementation of physical activity-based social prescribing across the UK.

Related research themes