Social prescribing nomenclature, occupational therapy and the theory of Institutional Work: Creating, maintaining and disrupting medical dominance

Gemma Bradley*, Jason Scott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Social prescribing is a process of helping people to access non-medical activities and services which address health and wellbeing needs. The process is frequently (although not exclusively) initiated by primary health care professionals and often involves prescribing activities or initiatives provided by community and voluntary organizations. To occupational therapy, the links between activity, social-connectedness and health are clearly not new, although there are emerging international examples of social prescribing initiatives, and examples of newly developed roles, processes and funding opportunities, all of which are creating momentum behind the agenda.

In this commentary, we draw upon the theory of Institutional Work to examine how the language of “prescription,” and the purposive action of policy-makers and practitioners, is shaping thinking and action in relation to activity and health. Arguably, this language has helped to translate the recommendation of activity to meet a range of health needs in to an accessible and implementable concept. However, it has also potentially contributed to positioning the concept within a medical model of health, upholding medical dominance, and leaving occupational therapy on the margins of the debate.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational Therapy in Health Care
Early online date19 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2021

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Social prescribing nomenclature, occupational therapy and the theory of Institutional Work: Creating, maintaining and disrupting medical dominance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this