Pattern of influence of social support and socio-economic status on functional status in the elderly in Poland

Tomasz Knurowski, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Poland
Beata Tobiasz-Adamczyk

The purpose of this study was to explore possible cumulative effect of social support together with socio-economic status. Analyses were performed in randomly chosen sample of 528 non institutionalised Polish urban elderly aged 65-85. Canrtil’s ladder was chosen to measure quality of life, Groningen Activity Restriction Scale to indicate functional limitations, twelve item Social Support Interaction Scale to determine level of social support and education to differentiate social strata. The level of social support and socio-economic status were found to differentiate degree of functional limitation among the Polish urban elderly. Clear cumulative effect of social support and social class on functional status was also confirmed in our sample. As disadvantages cumulate and influence negatively functional status, there is a need of developing comprehensive co-ordinated policy actions that will consider both: reducing socio-economic health differences and also stimulating social support among the elderly.

Presented in Session 69: Social ties, living arrangements, care and well-being in later life