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Next Avenue: Why your doctor may give you a ‘social prescription’

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.

The practice of prescribing social activities as an alternative or complement to medication for a variety of ailments has become more common in countries such as Canada and the U.K., and it appears some people are finding it beneficial in the U.S. as well.

In 2017, a U.K. study published in the medical research journal BMJ Open found that these “social prescriptions” improved the health and well-being of people with long-term conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety. Rather than prescribing medication to patients with these diseases, each patient in the study received personalized recommendations for community-based activities to either replace or complement pharmaceutical prescriptions.

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