Research Topic

Social Value for Health: Understanding, Framing and Capturing the Wider Psycho-social Outcomes Of Health Interventions and Programmes

About this Research Topic

In its broadest sense, social value is a way of thinking about how scarce resources are allocated and used and is also a way of maintaining social responsibility in an environment increasingly threatened by economic rationalization. In a health context, related concepts include social prescribing and ...

In its broadest sense, social value is a way of thinking about how scarce resources are allocated and used and is also a way of maintaining social responsibility in an environment increasingly threatened by economic rationalization. In a health context, related concepts include social prescribing and personalization, which represent a move away from medical models which focus on treatment to a situation that promotes independence and well-being through preventative approaches to health care. In contemporary health settings, the concept of social value is, therefore, becoming increasingly important, not least because providers of alternative models of health provision will increasingly need to demonstrate their success in achieving wider societal outcomes for their customers, and in establishing a presence in their community or niche.

Social value provides a legitimate framework for assessing and understanding the impact of interventions at an individual and community level. However, applications of social value to the fields of public and community health are limited, reflecting methodological shortcomings and the absence of robust conceptual frameworks. Some early work has begun to reveal the nature and extent of wider psycho-social outcomes associated with community health programmes and surgical procedures. Recent research, for example, highlights the efficacy of community health programmes in stimulating a range of psycho-social outcomes via the inter-related pathways of community connections, education and skills and health and well-being, and the role of facial surgical procedures in producing long-lasting post-operative impacts associated with improved self-esteem and reduced social isolation.
While the concept lends itself well to mixed methods approaches in order to capture, measure and articulate such impacts, as yet no statistical validation of documented psycho-social outcomes has been undertaken. In parallel, there is considerable scope to apply the concept of social value to a broad range of health interventions, medical procedures and programmes. This will help build a much-needed evidence base drawing on real-world examples; critique and establish a range of conceptual and methodological approaches to facilitate further research and practice; and provide social and political commentary around the management, policies and governance of health interventions across a range of contexts. This evidence can have a high degree of impact within a policy context that is increasingly demanding alternative perspectives that reveal new insights into complex issues.

Within the framework of this Research Topic, we encourage the submission of both original research manuscripts and case reports/mini-reviews and perspective/opinion articles on any relevant subjects pertaining to the application of - or relationship between - social value and health - both physical and mental. Work can utilize a full range of methodological approaches and analytical techniques drawn principally from the social and psychological sciences; can be primarily theoretical, conceptual, methodological or empirical in nature and are likely to fall within or across the disciplinary boundaries of Sociology, Psychology, Economics and Medical Science. Manuscripts can usefully speak to but are not restricted to the following thematic areas:

-Development of the concept of social value as it applies and relates to health and public health and sub-domains of these, for example, physical activity, sport, mental health and social care

-Bottom-up and/or innovative approaches to community health interventions and programmes

-Individual psycho-social outcomes of surgical and other medical procedures

-Social-Ecological Models (SEM) as they pertain to public and community health programmes and interventions

-Role of Social Prescribing in public and community health

-Relationship between the state and communities in a public/community health context

-Social and/or political commentaries of public and community health interventions or programmes

-Role of partnerships in harnessing local and community capacity for health delivery and improvements

-Role of Social Enterprise in health interventions and/or delivery

-Social and/or economic costs and benefits of health interventions

-Relationship between mental health and well being and the environment/green space

-Role of social value in the assessment of physical and mental health and wider social problems related to or underpinned by preventative health frameworks, such as the science of adversity and adverse childhood experiences.


Keywords: community Psychology, Community Health, Health Promotion, SEM, Social Ecologival Models, Social Value


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2020 Manuscript
31 October 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2020 Manuscript
31 October 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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