Found 2092 matches for
The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at Oxford University develops, promotes and disseminates better evidence for health care.
Colchicine for COVID-19 in adults in the community (PRINCIPLE): a randomised, controlled, adaptive platform trial
Objectives Colchicine has been proposed as a COVID-19 treatment, but its effect on time to recovery is unknown. We aimed to determine whether colchicine is effective at reducing time to recovery and COVID-19 related hospitalisations/deaths among people in the community. Design Prospective, multicentre, open-label, multi-arm, adaptive Platform Randomised Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses (PRINCIPLE). Setting National trial run remotely from a central trial site and at multiple primary care centres across the United Kingdom. Participants Adults aged ≥65, or ≥18 years with comorbidities or shortness of breath, and unwell ≤14 days with suspected COVID-19 in the community. Interventions Participants were randomised to usual care, usual care plus colchicine (500µg daily for 14 days), or usual care plus other interventions. Main outcome measures The co-primary endpoints were time to first self-reported recovery, and hospitalisation/death related to COVID-19, within 28 days, analysed using Bayesian models. The hypothesis for the time to recovery endpoint is evaluated first, and if superiority is declared on time to recovery, the hypothesis for the second co-primary endpoint of hospitalisation/death is then evaluated. To determine futility, we pre-specified a clinically meaningful benefit in time to first reported recovery as a hazard ratio of 1.2 or larger (equating to approximately 1.5 days benefit in the colchicine arm, assuming 9 days recovery in the usual care arm). Results The trial opened on April 2, 2020, with randomisation to colchicine starting on March 04, 2021 and stopping on May 26, 2021, because the pre-specified time to recovery futility criterion was met. The primary analysis model included 2755 SARS-CoV-2 positive participants, randomised to colchicine (n=156), usual care (n=1145), and other treatments (n=1454). Time to first self-reported recovery was similar in the colchicine group compared with usual care with an estimated hazard ratio of 0.919 [95% credible interval 0.72 to 1.16] and an estimated increase of 1.14 days [−1.86 to 5.21] in median time to self-reported recovery for colchicine versus usual care. The probability of meaningful benefit in time to recovery was very low at 1.8%. Results were similar in comparisons with concurrent controls. COVID-19 related hospitalisations/deaths were similar in the colchicine group versus usual care, with an estimated odds ratio of 0.76 [0.28 to 1.89] and an estimated difference of −0.4% [−2.7% to 2.4]. One serious adverse event occurred in the colchicine group and one in usual care. Conclusions Colchicine did not improve time to recovery in people at higher risk of complications with COVID-19 in the community. Trial registration ISRCTN86534580.
Perceptions on undertaking regular asymptomatic self-testing for COVID-19 using lateral flow tests: A qualitative study of university students and staff
Objectives Successful implementation of asymptomatic testing programmes using lateral flow tests (LFTs) depends on several factors, including feasibility, acceptability and how people act on test results. We aimed to examine experiences of university students and staff of regular asymptomatic self-testing using LFTs, and their subsequent behaviours. Design and setting A qualitative study using semistructured remote interviews and qualitative survey responses, which were analysed thematically. Participants People who were participating in weekly testing feasibility study, between October 2020 and January 2021, at the University of Oxford. Results We interviewed 18 and surveyed 214 participants. Participants were motivated to regularly self-test as they wanted to know whether or not they were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Most reported that a negative test result did not change their behaviour, but it did provide them with reassurance to engage with permitted activities. In contrast, some participants reported making decisions about visiting other people because they felt reassured by a negative test result. Participants valued the training but some still doubted their ability to carry out the test. Participants were concerned about safety of attending test sites with lots of people and reported home testing was most convenient. Conclusions Clear messages highlighting the benefits of regular testing for family, friends and society in identifying asymptomatic cases are needed. This should be coupled with transparent communication about the accuracy of LFTs and how to act on either a positive or negative result. Concerns about safety, convenience of testing and ability to do tests need to be addressed to ensure successful scaling up of asymptomatic testing.
Feasibility and Acceptability of Community COVID-19 Testing Strategies (FACTS) in a University Setting
Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the UK government began a mass SARS-CoV-2 testing programme. This study aimed to determine the feasibility and acceptability of organised regular self-testing for SARS-CoV-2.Methods: This was a mixed methods observational cohort study in asymptomatic students and staff at University of Oxford, who performed SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow self-testing. Data on uptake and adherence, acceptability, and test interpretation were collected via a smartphone app, an online survey, and qualitative interviews.Findings: Across three main sites, 551 participants (25% of those invited) performed 2728 tests during a follow-up of 5.6 weeks. 447 participants (81%) completed at least two, and 340 (62%) completed at least four tests. The survey, completed by 214 participants (39%), found that 98% of people were confident to self-test and believed self-testing to be beneficial. Acceptability of self-testing was high, with 91% of ratings being acceptable or very acceptable. 2711 (99.4%) test results were negative, nine were positive and eight were inconclusive. Results from eighteen qualitative interviews with staff and students revealed that participants valued regular testing, but there were concerns about test accuracy that impacted uptake and adherence.Interpretation: This is the first study to assess feasibility and acceptability of regular SARS-CoV-2 self-testing. It provides evidence to inform recruitment, adherence to, and acceptability of regular SARS-CoV-2 self-testing programmes for asymptomatic individuals using lateral flow tests. We found that self-testing is acceptable and people were able to interpret results accurately.Funding: This work was funded by Oxford University Medical Science DivisionsDeclaration of Interests: LT works part-time for Sensyne Health as R&D Director and holds share options in the company. He also reports a research grant and personal fees from the company.Ethics Approval Statement: FACTS is a mixed methods cohort study conducted at the University of Oxford. It was approved by the University of Oxford Research Ethics Committee in October 2020 (CUREC ethics reference R72896/RE001).
Deaths from cardiovascular disease involving anticoagulants: a systematic synthesis of coroners' case reports.
BACKGROUND: The global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is forecast to increase, and anticoagulants will remain important medicines for its management. Coroners' Prevention of Future Death reports (PFDs) provide valuable insights that may enable safer and more effective use of these agents. AIM: To identify CVD-related PFDs involving anticoagulants. DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective observational study of coronial case reports in England and Wales between 2013 and 2019. METHOD: We screened 3037 PFDs for eligibility and included PFDs where CVD and an anticoagulant caused or contributed to the death. We descriptively analysed included cases and used content analysis to assess concerns raised by coroners and who responded to them. RESULTS: We identified 113 cardiovascular disease-related PFDs involving anticoagulants. Warfarin (36%), enoxaparin (11%), and rivaroxaban (11%) were the most common anticoagulants reported. Concerns most frequently raised by coroners included poor systems (31%), poor communication (25%), and failures to keep accurate medical records (25%). These concerns were most often directed to NHS trusts (29%), hospitals (10%), and general practices (8%). Nearly two-thirds (60%) of PFDs had not received responses from such organisations, which are mandatory under regulation 28 of the Coroners' (Investigations). We created a publicly available tool, https://preventabledeathstracker.net/, which displays coroners' reports in England and Wales to streamline access and identify important lessons to prevent future deaths. CONCLUSION: National organisations, healthcare professionals, and prescribers should take actions to address the concerns of coroners' in PFDs to improve the safe use of anticoagulants in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Background: Care home residents have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Electronic Health Records (EHR) hold significant potential for studying the healthcare needs of this vulnerable population; however, identifying care home residents in EHR is not straightforward. We describe and compare three different methods for identifying care home residents in the newly created OpenSAFELY-TPP data analytics platform. Methods: Working on behalf of NHS England, we identified individuals aged 65 years or older potentially living in a care home on the 1st of February 2020 using (1) a complex address linkage, in which cleaned GP registered addresses were matched to old age care home addresses using data from the Care and Quality Commission (CQC); (2) coded events in the EHR; (3) household identifiers, age and household size to identify households with more than 3 individuals aged 65 years or older as potential care home residents. Raw addresses were not available to the investigators. Results: Of 4,437,286 individuals aged 65 years or older, 2.27% were identified as potential care home residents using the complex address linkage, 1.96% using coded events, 3.13% using household size and age and 3.74% using either of these methods. 53,210 individuals (32.0% of all potential care home residents) were classified as care home residents using all three methods. Address linkage had the largest overlap with the other methods; 93.3% of individuals identified as care home residents using the address linkage were also identified as such using either coded events or household age and size. Conclusion: We have described the partial overlap between three methods for identifying care home residents in EHR, and provide detailed instructions for how to implement these in OpenSAFELY-TPP to support research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on care home residents.
Understanding acceptability in the context of text messages to encourage medication adherence in people with type 2 diabetes
Background: Acceptability is recognised as a key concept in the development of health interventions, but there has been a lack of consensus about how acceptability should be conceptualised. The theoretical framework of acceptability (TFA) provides a potential tool for understanding acceptability. It has been proposed that acceptability measured before use of an intervention (anticipated acceptability) may differ from measures taken during and after use (experienced acceptability), but thus far this distinction has not been tested for a specific intervention. This paper 1) directly compares ratings of anticipated and experienced acceptability of a text message-based intervention, 2) explores the applicability of the TFA in a technology-based intervention, and 3) uses these findings to inform suggestions for measuring acceptability over the lifespan of technology-based health interventions. Methods: Data were obtained from a quantitative online survey assessing anticipated acceptability of the proposed text messages (n = 59) and a 12-week proof-of-concept mixed methods study assessing experienced acceptability while receiving the text messages (n = 48). Both quantitative ratings by return text message, and qualitative data from participant interviews were collected during the proof-of-concept study. Results: The quantitative analysis showed anticipated and experienced acceptability were significantly positively correlated (rs >.4). The qualitative analysis identified four of the seven constructs of the TFA as themes (burden, intervention coherence, affective attitude and perceived effectiveness). An additional two themes were identified as having an important impact on the TFA constructs (perceptions of appropriateness and participants’ role). Three suggestions are given related to the importance of appropriateness, what may affect ratings of acceptability and what to consider when measuring acceptability. Conclusions: The high correlation between anticipated and experienced acceptability was a surprising finding and could indicate that, in some cases, acceptability of an intervention can be gauged adequately from an anticipated acceptability study, prior to an expensive pilot or feasibility study. Directly exploring perceptions of appropriateness and understanding whether the acceptability described by participants is related to the intervention or the research - and is for themselves or others - is important in interpreting the results and using them to further develop interventions and predict future use.
Impact of changes to national guidelines on hypertension-related workload: an interrupted time series analysis in English primary care.
BACKGROUND: In 2011, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommended the routine use of out-of-office blood pressure (BP) monitoring for the diagnosis of hypertension. These changes were predicted to reduce unnecessary treatment costs and workload associated with misdiagnosis. AIM: To assess the impact of guideline change on rates of hypertension-related consultation in general practice. DESIGN AND SETTING: A retrospective open cohort study in adults registered with English general practices contributing to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2017. METHOD: The primary outcome was the rate of face-to-face, telephone, and home visit consultations related to hypertension with a GP or nurse. Age- and sex-standardised rates were analysed using interrupted time-series analysis. RESULTS: In 3 937 191 adults (median follow-up 4.2 years) there were 12 253 836 hypertension-related consultations. The rate of hypertension-related consultation was 71.0 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI] = 67.8 to 74.2) in April 2006, which remained flat before 2011. The introduction of the NICE hypertension guideline in 2011 was associated with a change in yearly trend (change in trend -3.60 per 100 person-years, 95% CI = -5.12 to -2.09). The rate of consultation subsequently decreased to 59.2 per 100 person-years (95% CI = 56.5 to 61.8) in March 2017. These changes occurred around the time of diagnosis, and persisted when accounting for wider trends in all consultations. CONCLUSION: Hypertension-related workload has declined in the last decade, in association with guideline changes. This is due to changes in workload at the time of diagnosis, rather than reductions in misdiagnosis.
Changes to management of hypertension in pregnancy, and attitudes to self-management: An online survey of obstetricians, before and following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
Objective: This study aimed to understand the views and practice of obstetricians regarding self-monitoring for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (blood pressure (BP) and proteinuria), the potential for self-management (including actions taken on self-monitored parameters) and to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such views. Design: Cross-sectional online survey pre- and post- the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting and Sample: UK obstetricians recruited via an online portal. Methods: A survey undertaken in two rounds: December 2019-January 2020 (pre-pandemic), and September-November 2020 (during pandemic) Results: 251 responses were received across rounds one (1 5 0) and two (1 0 1). Most obstetricians considered that self-monitoring of BP and home urinalysis had a role in guiding clinical decisions and this increased significantly following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (88%, (132/150) 95%CI: 83–93% first round vs 96% (95%CI: 92–94%), (97/101), second round; p = 0.039). Following the pandemic, nearly half were agreeable to women self-managing their hypertension by using their own readings to make a pre-agreed medication change themselves (47%, 47/101 (95%CI: 37–57%)). Conclusions: A substantial majority of UK obstetricians considered that self-monitoring had a role in the management of pregnancy hypertension and this increased following the pandemic. Around half are now supportive of women having a wider role in self-management of hypertensive treatment. Maximising the potential of such changes in pregnancy hypertension management requires further work to understand how to fully integrate women's own measurements into clinical care.
AbstractThis is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows:To assess the effect of reduction‐to‐quit interventions on long‐term smoking abstinenceTo assess the number and proportion of participants who make quit attempts and the amount of reduction that occurs as a result of reduction‐to‐quit interventionsTo assess whether the efficacy of reduction to quit interventions is moderated by baseline motivation to quit, cigarettes per day, self‐efficacy or preference for gradual versus abrupt cessationTo investigate any adverse effects of reduction‐to‐quit interventions (including adverse events)We will assess these objectives by comparing reduction‐to‐quit interventions with no smoking cessation treatment, abrupt quitting interventions and other reduction‐to‐quit interventions.
The accuracy of ACTH as a biomarker for pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in horses: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Background: Accuracy of baseline ACTH for the diagnosis of PPID in horses varies between studies. Objectives: To estimate the diagnostic accuracy of ACTH as a biomarker for PPID in adult horses and appraise potential causes of heterogeneity. Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: A literature review identified studies reporting diagnostic accuracy data for extraction. Risk of bias was evaluated using QUADAS-2. Two random-effects models, the hierarchical summary receiver operating curve (HSROC) and the bivariate binomial normal model (BBN) were used to pool accuracy measurements. We performed meta-regression using study-level variables. The impact of diagnostic test accuracy on the frequency of false-positive and false-negative results at various pretest probabilities was calculated using the BBN model's accuracy results. Results: Patient selection and index test evaluation demonstrated significant risk of bias. Mean and 95% confidence intervals for sensitivity and specificity for all studies (n = 11) based upon the HSROC model were (0.72, 95% CI: 0.62 to 0.82) and (0.88, 95% CI: 0.79 to 0.93), respectively. When studies with a common positivity threshold of 35 pg/mL ACTH were evaluated (n = 6), sensitivity and specificity were (0.66, 95% CI:0.54 to 0.77) and (0.87, 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.94). In a hypothetical group of one thousand horses with PPID prevalence of 2%, 20%, and 90%, the frequency of resulting false-positive and false-negatives would be (127 and 7), (104 and 68) and (13 and 306), respectively. Factors leading to increased accuracy were case-control design, clinical reference standard and data-driven choice of ACTH threshold. Main limitations: A small number of primary studies (n = 11) were available, demonstrating significant biases. Conclusions: Less biased studies examining diagnostic accuracy of ACTH are needed. In horses with a high pretest probability of PPID, ACTH may be a functional “rule-in” test. Baseline ACTH is not recommended for screening purposes or use in horses without clinical signs of PPID.
Objective: Valvular heart disease (VHD) is present in half the population aged >65 years but is usually mild and of uncertain importance. We investigated the association between VHD and its phenotypes with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Methods: The OxVALVE (Oxford Valvular Heart Disease) population cohort study screened 4009 participants aged >65 years to establish the presence and severity of VHD. We linked data to a national mortality registry and undertook detailed outcome analysis. Results: Mortality data were available for 3511 participants, of whom 361 (10.3%) died (median 6.49 years follow-up). Most had some form of valve abnormality (n=2645, 70.2%). In adjusted analyses, neither mild VHD (prevalence 44.9%) nor clinically significant VHD (moderate or severe stenosis or regurgitation; 5.2%) was associated with increased all-cause mortality (HR 1.20, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.51 and HR 1.47, 95% CI 0.94 to 2.31, respectively). Conversely, advanced aortic sclerosis (prevalence 2.25%) and advanced mitral annular calcification (MAC, 1.31%) were associated with an increased risk of death (HR 2.05, 95% CI 1.28 to 3.30 and HR 2.51, 95% CI 1.41 to 4.49, respectively). Mortality was highest for people with both clinically significant VHD and advanced aortic sclerosis or MAC (HR 4.38, 95% CI 1.99 to 9.67). Conclusions: Advanced aortic sclerosis or MAC is associated with a worse outcome, particularly for patients with significant VHD, but also in the absence of other VHD. Older patients with mild VHD can be reassured about their prognosis. The absence of an association between significant VHD and mortality may reflect its relatively low prevalence in our cohort.
Prevalent diabetes and risk of total, colorectal, prostate and breast cancers in an ageing population: meta-analysis of individual participant data from cohorts of the CHANCES consortium
Background: We investigated whether associations between prevalent diabetes and cancer risk are pertinent to older adults and whether associations differ across subgroups of age, body weight status or levels of physical activity. Methods: We harmonised data from seven prospective cohort studies of older individuals in Europe and the United States participating in the CHANCES consortium. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the associations of prevalent diabetes with cancer risk (all cancers combined, and for colorectum, prostate and breast). We calculated summary risk estimates across cohorts using pooled analysis and random-effects meta-analysis. Results: A total of 667,916 individuals were included with an overall median (P25–P75) age at recruitment of 62.3 (57–67) years. During a median follow-up time of 10.5 years, 114,404 total cancer cases were ascertained. Diabetes was not associated with the risk of all cancers combined (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86–1.04; I = 63.3%). Diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk in men (HR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.08–1.26; I = 0%) and a similar HR in women (1.13; 95% CI: 0.82–1.56; I = 46%), but with a confidence interval including the null. Diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk (HR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.77–0.85; I = 0%), but not with postmenopausal breast cancer (HR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.89–1.03; I = 0%). In exploratory subgroup analyses, diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk only in men with overweight or obesity. Conclusions: Prevalent diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk and inversely associated with prostate cancer risk in older Europeans and Americans. 2 2 2 2 2
Copyright © 2021 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. BACKGROUND: Smoking is a leading cause of disease and death worldwide. In people who smoke, quitting smoking can reverse much of the damage. Many people use behavioural interventions to help them quit smoking; these interventions can vary substantially in their content and effectiveness. OBJECTIVES: To summarise the evidence from Cochrane Reviews that assessed the effect of behavioural interventions designed to support smoking cessation attempts and to conduct a network meta-analysis to determine how modes of delivery; person delivering the intervention; and the nature, focus, and intensity of behavioural interventions for smoking cessation influence the likelihood of achieving abstinence six months after attempting to stop smoking; and whether the effects of behavioural interventions depend upon other characteristics, including population, setting, and the provision of pharmacotherapy. To summarise the availability and principal findings of economic evaluations of behavioural interventions for smoking cessation, in terms of comparative costs and cost-effectiveness, in the form of a brief economic commentary. METHODS: This work comprises two main elements. 1. We conducted a Cochrane Overview of reviews following standard Cochrane methods. We identified Cochrane Reviews of behavioural interventions (including all non-pharmacological interventions, e.g. counselling, exercise, hypnotherapy, self-help materials) for smoking cessation by searching the Cochrane Library in July 2020. We evaluated the methodological quality of reviews using AMSTAR 2 and synthesised data from the reviews narratively. 2. We used the included reviews to identify randomised controlled trials of behavioural interventions for smoking cessation compared with other behavioural interventions or no intervention for smoking cessation. To be included, studies had to include adult smokers and measure smoking abstinence at six months or longer. Screening, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment followed standard Cochrane methods. We synthesised data using Bayesian component network meta-analysis (CNMA), examining the effects of 38 different components compared to minimal intervention. Components included behavioural and motivational elements, intervention providers, delivery modes, nature, focus, and intensity of the behavioural intervention. We used component network meta-regression (CNMR) to evaluate the influence of population characteristics, provision of pharmacotherapy, and intervention intensity on the component effects. We evaluated certainty of the evidence using GRADE domains. We assumed an additive effect for individual components. MAIN RESULTS: We included 33 Cochrane Reviews, from which 312 randomised controlled trials, representing 250,563 participants and 845 distinct study arms, met the criteria for inclusion in our component network meta-analysis. This represented 437 different combinations of components. Of the 33 reviews, confidence in review findings was high in four reviews and moderate in nine reviews, as measured by the AMSTAR 2 critical appraisal tool. The remaining 20 reviews were low or critically low due to one or more critical weaknesses, most commonly inadequate investigation or discussion (or both) of the impact of publication bias. Of note, the critical weaknesses identified did not affect the searching, screening, or data extraction elements of the review process, which have direct bearing on our CNMA. Of the included studies, 125/312 were at low risk of bias overall, 50 were at high risk of bias, and the remainder were at unclear risk. Analyses from the contributing reviews and from our CNMA showed behavioural interventions for smoking cessation can increase quit rates, but effectiveness varies on characteristics of the support provided. There was high-certainty evidence of benefit for the provision of counselling (odds ratio (OR) 1.44, 95% credibility interval (CrI) 1.22 to 1.70, 194 studies, n = 72,273) and guaranteed financial incentives (OR 1.46, 95% CrI 1.15 to 1.85, 19 studies, n = 8877). Evidence of benefit remained when removing studies at high risk of bias. These findings were consistent with pair-wise meta-analyses from contributing reviews. There was moderate-certainty evidence of benefit for interventions delivered via text message (downgraded due to unexplained statistical heterogeneity in pair-wise comparison), and for the following components where point estimates suggested benefit but CrIs incorporated no clinically significant difference: individual tailoring; intervention content including motivational components; intervention content focused on how to quit. The remaining intervention components had low-to very low-certainty evidence, with the main issues being imprecision and risk of bias. There was no evidence to suggest an increase in harms in groups receiving behavioural support for smoking cessation. Intervention effects were not changed by adjusting for population characteristics, but data were limited. Increasing intensity of behavioural support, as measured through the number of contacts, duration of each contact, and programme length, had point estimates associated with modestly increased chances of quitting, but CrIs included no difference. The effect of behavioural support for smoking cessation appeared slightly less pronounced when people were already receiving smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Behavioural support for smoking cessation can increase quit rates at six months or longer, with no evidence that support increases harms. This is the case whether or not smoking cessation pharmacotherapy is also provided, but the effect is slightly more pronounced in the absence of pharmacotherapy. Evidence of benefit is strongest for the provision of any form of counselling, and guaranteed financial incentives. Evidence suggested possible benefit but the need of further studies to evaluate: individual tailoring; delivery via text message, email, and audio recording; delivery by lay health advisor; and intervention content with motivational components and a focus on how to quit. We identified 23 economic evaluations; evidence did not consistently suggest one type of behavioural intervention for smoking cessation was more cost-effective than another. Future reviews should fully consider publication bias. Tools to investigate publication bias and to evaluate certainty in CNMA are needed.
Policy Points Social prescribing is proposed as a way of improving patients’ health and well-being by attending to their non-clinical needs. This is done by connecting patients with community assets (typically voluntary or charitable organizations) that provide social and personal support. In the United Kingdom, social prescribing is used to improve patient well-being and reduce use of National Health Service resources. Although social prescribing schemes hold promise, evidence of their effects and effectiveness is sparse. As more information on social prescribing is gathered, it will be important to consider the associated ethical issues for patients, clinicians, link workers, and community assets.