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Does informal support influence social participation of fractured elderly people?

By Henrik Ekström, Synneve Dahlin-Ivanoff and Sölve Elmståhl


This population-based cross-sectional study describes social participation expressed as the accomplishment of social, cultural, and leisure activities resulting from informal support given by relatives or friends, formal support given by the municipality or county, or a combination of the two, among 452 individuals aged 60-93 years suffering from osteoporosis-related fractures. A fourth group of individuals with fractures without any support was used as a reference group. Fractures included were humeral, wrist, vertebral, hip, pelvic and ankle fractures. Questionnaires were used to collect sociodemographic data and information on social participation, social support, and covariates. The results showed that a smaller proportion of those with only formal support took part in social, cultural, or leisure activities, compared to participants with informal support alone, both informal and formal support or those without any kind of support. The associations between categories of activity and kind of support were further tested in a logistic regression model adjusting for possible confounders. Odds ratios (ORs) for taking part in social, cultural, and leisure activities were significantly lower for participants with formal support and a combination of informal and formal support, while participants receiving informal support did not show a significantly reduced OR for taking part in any category of activity, compared to the reference group. In conclusion; informal support of older people with fractures is an important means of facilitating social participation and an active lifestyle. Attention should be paid to the vulnerable situation of those who rely solely on formal support

Topics: Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.11.010
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