Investigating the relation between the functions of social support and the demographic features of diabetic patients

Maryam Ghasemipoor, Vahid Ghasemi, Ahmad Reza Zamani


BACKGROUND: Social support is a form of social capital which can be related to the health of patients. Chronic diseases such as diabetes are incurable but they can be controlled. However, the patient is always facing stressful physical, mental and social factors. Therefore, he needs to receive different kinds of supports. The present research aimed to determine the factors of social support in diabetic patients and its relation with the demographic features of the patients.

METHODS: This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in 1387. The population of the study was all diabetic patients of Khoramabad who went to the clinics for treatment. Among this population, 150 cases were selected and a questionnaire including a demographic section and a social support section was used for data collection. Social support was assessed by integrating and balancing four standard questionnaires of social support for diabetic patients.

RESULTS: The results revealed that factors of social support have not been optimal in 59% of the cases. Among all factors, emotional support scored the highest (36.8%). In addition, age, sex, job, education, and the duration of disease had statistically significant relationship with some of the factors of social support.

CONCLUSIONS: Due to non-optimality of some factors and effects of some demographic variables in receiving social support, it can be recommended that authorities should plan programs with consulting, educational and instrumental contents in order to promote patient's reception of social support from different support sources.

KEY WORDS: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Social Support, Patients, Family.

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