The Role of Social Support in Multiple Morbidity Self-Management Among Rural Residents

Shoshana Bardach,, University of Kentucky
Yelena N. Tarasenko, Georgia Southern University
Nancy E. Schoenberg, University of Kentucky

This is an Accepted Author Manuscript obtained from PMC. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.


Social support generally is considered a valuable asset that may compensate for health service deficiencies among rural populations. Employing a mixed methods approach, we explored how vulnerable rural residents described social support in the context of self-management for multiple chronic conditions. Participants generally felt support was available, though emotional/ informational support was perceived as less available than other types of support. Participants did not rely heavily on informal support to help them manage their multiple morbidities, preferring to call on their doctor and their own resources. We discuss implications of these findings for meeting this vulnerable population’s self-management needs.