Authors: Chidinma O. Iheanyi-Okeahialam, Alyssa M. Falise, Catherine W. Striley
Faculty Mentor: Catherine Striley
College: College of Public Health and Health Professions
Background: Evidence suggests increased hospital readmissions are associated with weaker social relationships. We hypothesized that mid-to-older adults with poorer health would rate their social support lower than those with better health.
Methods: University of Florida’s HealthStreet community engagement program surveys people about their health in areas where they live and work and refers them to services. Logistic regression was used to analyze predictors of social support using SAS 9.4.
Results: Among participants 50+ years old (n= 2,238), 40.6% identified as African American, with 62.6% female, 72.5% unmarried. the sample had an average of 2.13 lifetime chronic conditions (SD = 1.44 and 44.2% categorized their health as fair/poor. Low social support predictors included being 50-64 years old (aOR = 1.40 95%CI: 1.12-1.76), being male (aOR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.05-1.58), not being married (aOR = 2.33 95% CI: 1.79 – 3.02), identifying as Black/African American (aOR = 0.63 95% CI: 0.50-0.78), having fair/poor health (aOR = 1.42 95% CI: 1.15-1.76), and having 3 or more chronic conditions(aOR = 1.38 95% CI: 1.11-1.71).
Conclusion: Results indicated poorer health is associated with lower social support. Future research should continue to consider the importance of low social support and how to improve it.