Firstly, for completing our #ThinkSocial survey, which was very useful and a good guide of why this campaign is important. And secondly, for the very kind donor who has given us a very generous grant to study whether, or not, targeted public engagement and patient-public involvement activities increase social capital and improve outcomes for people living with MS. By formally studying this we hopefully generate the necessary evidence to help others adopt our approach and to help get their PeS and PPI initiatives funded by the NHS and other relevant payers.
This survey and funding news coincides with the publication of our review on social capital. Well done to Saul and Alison for taking this forward. Saul is funded by an ECTRIMS fellowship and this paper will count towards his outputs.
Saúl Reyes, Gavin Giovannoni and Alison Thomson. Social capital: Implications for neurology. Brain and Behaviour ePub 08 December 2018.
Social capital (SC) is a broad term that encompasses the many resources derived from social connections. The contemporary study of SC in public health has deep roots in the related fields of sociology, economics, and politics. Its multidisciplinary nature and the varying potential ways it could affect individuals have resulted in different but overlapping models to approach SC in the health field. There are currently no standardized measures of SC, and even more, challenging its impact on health outcomes seems to vary according to the level of analysis. Despite the accumulating evidence that supports a protective effect of SC on mental and physical health, and mortality, not enough attention has been paid to the potential drawbacks of SC. The role of SC in neurological disease is just beginning to be explored. Concerted efforts are needed to ensure that empirical evidence on SC could be properly translated into interventions for health‐promoting purposes. In this paper, we review the current state of scientific knowledge on the subject of SC, with a focus on its application in the field of neurology.