Korean J Rehabil Nurs.  2010 Jun;13(1):53-61.

Relationships of Social Networks to Health Status among the Urban Low-income Elderly

  • 1College of Nursing, Eulji University, Korea. frwon17@naver.com


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships of social networks to health status among the urban low income elderly. METHOD: Using a sample of 598 elderly aged 65 years and higher, social networks, health status were measured by the Social Networks Scale (LSNS), Perceived Health Status, GDSSF-K, K-ADL respectively. The t-test, ANOVA and Tukey-test and Pearson's correlation analyses were performed using SPSS 18.0.
41% of subjects didn't contact with relatives at least once a month. 56% of subjects saw or heard less than monthly from relative with whom they have the most contact. 47% didn't have relatives who one can rely on private matters. Social networks among the low income elderly significantly differed by marital status, health insurance type, economic status, regular exercise, living with family. Social networks were significantly correlated with perceived health status (r=.201), cognitive function (r=-.154) and depressive symptoms (r=-.301).
Poor social networks were found in urban low income elderly. Poorer social networks were related to worse health status and more depressive symptoms. Interventions targeting at increasing social networks are urgently needed for low income elderly.


Social networks; Aged; Vulnerable populations; Health status
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