An examination of social support influences on participation for older adults with chronic health conditions
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UNLABELLED: Social support can improve participation in everyday activities among older adults with chronic health conditions, but the specific types of support that are needed are unclear. PURPOSE: This study examined the types of social support that most strongly predict participation in everyday activities. METHOD: Two hundred and twenty-seven participants completed a self-administered cross-sectional survey. The sample included adults aged 60 years or more with arthritis, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or heart disease. Participation was defined as satisfaction with participation in 11 life areas. Social support was defined as availability of tangible, affectionate, emotional/informational and positive social interaction support. RESULTS: Multiple regression analyses showed that participants who perceived greater tangible support and positive social interaction support had higher satisfaction with participation than participants with lower levels of these types of support. CONCLUSIONS: Targeting and developing tangible and social interaction support may help to facilitate satisfaction with participation for older adults with chronic conditions. Creating networks for companionship appears equally as important as providing support for daily living needs. Implications for Rehabilitation Varying types of social support can improve participation in older adults with chronic health conditions. Tangible support and positive social interaction support are the strongest predictors of participation. Creating networks for companionship may be equally as important as providing support for daily living needs.
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