Online Program

Perceptions of social support among mid- to late-life female caregivers and women with chronic conditions

Monday, November 4, 2013

Idethia Shevon Harvey, DrPH, Department of Human Development & Family Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
The course of chronic illness varies greatly; some types of illnesses begin insidiously, others as catastrophes. Chronic conditions are punctuated by a cycle of remissions and recurrences that influence how individuals and their families cope with the illness. The response to chronic conditions in a family member may depend on the nature and course of the illness, itself, as well as on the demands perceived by family members and individuals with chronic conditions. Researchers have focus on the experience of either individuals living with chronic conditions or caregivers of the chronically ill, however; less is known about the perceptions of familial support among female caregivers with chronic illness. This study examined mid to late life women from the Chronic Illness and Caregiving (CIC) telephone survey to assess the perception of familial support among women with chronic illness (N=390), caregivers (N=66), and chronic ill caregivers (N= 56). This study proposes that varying configurations of support will produce different outcomes for individuals with chronic conditions and their familial support members. Logistic regression coefficients and odds ratio on perceived difficulty of familial support reflected that older women and widows perceived less difficulty in familial support, individuals with higher education level and caregivers perceived more difficulty in familial support. Consideration of the relationship between type of support and potential sources of support can provide clinicians and public health professionals a basis to assess potential support requirements and availability for individuals with chronic conditions and their familial support members.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the perception of familial support among women with chronic conditions and female caregivers.

Keyword(s): Chronic Illness, Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal investigator of multiple institutional and federally funded grants from on self-care and self-management of chronic conditions. Among my research focus is the role of social support in the self-managment of chronic conditions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.