Integrating Social Care in Healthcare Approaches - A Scoping Review and Cost-Benefit Analysis

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The primary goal of this research is to conduct a scoping review of the literature focusing on the cost-benefit of “upstream” social care interventions designed to prevent “downstream” disease and healthcare costs. Social care interventions integrate health-related social risk factors with healthcare and are not currently considered traditional medical care. By reviewing the literature, we aim to determine if financing these interventions through the healthcare system is a sound fiscal decision. Specifically, the research question which will be answered is "How does the integration of social care-based into medical care impact downstream healthcare costs?" The results of this study could have a significant impact on how care is managed by health systems. The first part of this research is creating a search strategy to ensure the appropriate articles are reviewed so that an appropriate conclusion can be made. Our team has decided to review the research databases EconLit, WebofScience, and PubMed as these are the most likely to have relevant publications. The search strategy has been constructed by developing three concepts that are related to the research question - "Social Care-Based Interventions"; "Health Care" and "Reducing Medical Costs". Each of these concepts is then broken down into many specific search terms, which are used to run the searches. Currently, test searches have been run on all of the databases, and a preliminary number of 17,837 articles have been found. These articles will be filtered for duplicates, relevancy, and content, and finally, the remaining articles will be analyzed.