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J Med Internet Res ; 25: e46537, 2023 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298564


BACKGROUND: Social loneliness is a prevalent issue in industrialized countries that can lead to adverse health outcomes, including a 26% increased risk of premature mortality, coronary heart disease, stroke, depression, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer disease. The United Kingdom has implemented a strategy to address loneliness, including social prescribing-a health care model where physicians prescribe nonpharmacological interventions to tackle social loneliness. However, there is a need for evidence-based plans for global social prescribing dissemination. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify global trends in social prescribing from 2018. To this end, we intend to collect and analyze words related to social prescribing worldwide and evaluate various trends of related words by classifying the core areas of social prescribing. METHODS: Google's searchable data were collected to analyze web-based data related to social prescribing. With the help of web crawling, 3796 news items were collected for the 5-year period from 2018 to 2022. Key topics were selected to identify keywords for each major topic related to social prescribing. The topics were grouped into 4 categories, namely Healthy, Program, Governance, and Target, and keywords for each topic were selected thereafter. Text mining was used to determine the importance of words collected from new data. RESULTS: Word clouds were generated for words related to social prescribing, which collected 3796 words from Google News databases, including 128 in 2018, 432 in 2019, 566 in 2020, 748 in 2021, and 1922 in 2022, increasing nearly 15-fold between 2018 and 2022 (5 years). Words such as health, prescribing, and GPs (general practitioners) were the highest in terms of frequency in the list for all the years. Between 2020 and 2021, COVID, gardening, and UK were found to be highly related words. In 2022, NHS (National Health Service) and UK ranked high. This dissertation examines social prescribing-related term frequency and classification (2018-2022) in Healthy, Program, Governance, and Target categories. Key findings include increased "Healthy" terms from 2020, "gardening" prominence in "Program," "community" growth across categories, and "Target" term spikes in 2021. CONCLUSIONS: This study's discussion highlights four key aspects: (1) the "Healthy" category trends emphasize mental health, cancer, and sleep; (2) the "Program" category prioritizes gardening, community, home-schooling, and digital initiatives; (3) "Governance" underscores the significance of community resources in social prescribing implementation; and (4) "Target" focuses on 4 main groups: individuals with long-term conditions, low-level mental health issues, social isolation, or complex social needs impacting well-being. Social prescribing is gaining global acceptance and is becoming a global national policy, as the world is witnessing a sharp rise in the aging population, noncontagious diseases, and mental health problems. A successful and sustainable model of social prescribing can be achieved by introducing social prescribing schemes based on the understanding of roles and the impact of multisectoral partnerships.

COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , State Medicine , Loneliness/psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , Internet