Healthy lives equal healthy communities – the social impact of self-management

Healthy lives equal healthy communities – the social impact of self-management

Author: The Health Foundation

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This report summarises how community-based self management programmes, when delivered to a target population, can have significant benefits for the individual and the wider community.

The study looked at key outcomes for participants attending Expert Patient Programme lay-led self-management courses in The Wirral and Salford. The aim of this study was to uncover the social value of attending a self-management course both for participants and their communities.

The study found that direct course outcomes included improved diet, meeting new people, better control of feelings and increased self-awareness and self-worth. The key result of these outcomes was a general increase in confidence which, in turn, led to decreased anxiety, better sleep, a willingness to try new things and increased motivation.

As a result of these outcomes, participants felt able to make important life changes, such as improved relationships, volunteering, further education, positive job-related benefits and general health improvements with obvious accompanying benefits for the wider community.

The calculation used to determine the Social Return on Investment of these outcomes deliberately used conservative measures, setting the duration of change at five years and assuming a 50% drop-off rate for each of the outcomes. Based on these measures, the final calculation showed a return on investment ratio of 6.49 : 1. This translates into a social return value of £226,169 across all the programmes delivered during the term of the study.

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