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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2003;36(1): 54-62.
Social Support and Self-rated Health Status in a Low Income Neighborhood of Seoul, Korea.
Min Kyoung Lim, Myoung Hee Kim, Young Jeon Shin, Weon Seob Yoo, Bong Min Yang
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Korae.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Eulji University School of Medicine, Korae. mhkim@emc.eulji.ac.kr
3Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health, Korae.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the distribution of social support, and explore its effects on self-rated health status in a low income neighborhood of Seoul, Korea. METHODS: In September 2001 we conducted a survey in a low income neighborhood of Seoul, Korea, in which 862 residents, aged 18 years or over, participated. We measured the general sociodemographic characteristics, self-rated health status and social support with the instrument developed from Korean translation of the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS) scale of the US. Logistic regression was used to identify the determinants of social support, and explore its effects on self-rated health status. RESULTS: Lower social class, women or divorced people had much less social support compared to higher social class, men or those never married, respectively. Those families on much lower income also received less social support. Social support has a positive impact on the self-rated health status, which remains statistically significant even when other relevant variables are adjusted. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that social support has an important role in health, and the socially disadvantaged have lower social support. Therefore, to improve the health status of the poor, it is necessary to encourage community participation, and develop strategies that could strengthen their provision of social support.
Key words: Social support; Self-rated health status; Low income neighborhood
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