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Social Support Interventions

  • By: Nichole Egbert
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

As a general concept, social support encompasses a broad range of communication and helping behaviors that are enacted to provide assistance to another person or persons. Thus, social support is altruistic in nature and perceived by the provider and/or the recipient to be helpful to the recipient. Social support has been related to such positive health outcomes as shorter recovery from surgery, improved immune functioning, and reduced rates of depression.

As such, social support is a topic of interest to health care providers; educators; researchers in such fields as communication, psychology, sociology, and nursing (among others); nonprofit organizations; and human service professionals such as social workers and clergy members. Types of social support include instrumental support, emotional support, informational support, and appraisal support. Social support is ...

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