Social Support | Health Dictionary

Emotional, instrumental and financial assistance obtained from an individual’s social network. Social support provided by family, friends and neighbours is referred to as ‘informal support’, whereas social support provided by formal service agencies is called ‘formal support’.


Social Support | Health Dictionary

Keywords of this word: Social Support


COMPUTERISED DECISION-SUPPORT SYSTEMS

Medical Dictionary

Also known as ‘expert systems’, these are computer software systems intended to help doctors make clinical decisions. Primary care medicine is especially noted for its uncertainty by virtue of being most patients’ ?rst point of contact with health care, confronting the clinician with many ‘undi?erentiated’ health problems. So far, these systems have not been as e?ective as expected because of a failure to ana-lyse the needs of primary care. Simple procedures to prompt the delivery of treatment to patients with chronic conditions have improved care quality, but work needs to be done on their cost-e?ectiveness. The aim of more complex computerised support systems will be to forecast likely future events and the possible e?ectiveness of proposed interventions, based on available information about the patient and an understanding of the risks and e?cacy of interventions by doctors and other experts.

One example, called ISABEL, can be accessed by paediatricians to check on their diagnosis and management of many childhood disorders.... Medical Dictionary

DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM

Community Health

See “decision analysis”.... Community Health

LONG-TERM SUPPORTIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY

Medical Dictionary

is needed for patients with personality disorders or recurrent psychotic states, where the aim of treatment is to prevent deterioration and help the patient to achieve an optimal adaptation, making the most of his or her psychological assets. Such patients may ?nd more profound and unstructured forms of therapy distressing.

Behavioural therapy and cognitive therapy, often carried out by psychologists, attempt to clarify with the patient speci?c features of behaviour or mental outlook respectively, and to identify step-by-step methods that the patient can use for controlling the disorder. Behaviour therapy is commonly used for AGORAPHOBIA and other phobias, and cognitive therapy has been used for depression and anxiety. (See MENTAL ILLNESS.)... Medical Dictionary

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Medical Dictionary

Any previously existing mental-health problems may worsen under the stress of pregnancy and childbirth, and a woman’s socio-economic circumstances may be an in?uential factor. Mood swings are common in pregnant women and mothers of new babies; sympathetic support from sta? and relations will usually remedy the situation. If postnatal depression lasts for more than a week or two the use of mild ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS may be justi?ed. If depression persists, referral to a psychiatrist may be advisable. Rarely, severe psychiatric problems – puerperal psychosis – may develop during or after pregnancy and referral to an appropriate psychiatric unit is then essential. If the mother’s social circumstances are unsatisfactory, advice should be sought from social services departments. Mothers may also need advice on bene?ts to which they are entitled and how to claim them. Bene?ts Agency o?ces or Citizens’ Advice Bureaux as well as antenatal clinics are useful sources of information.... Medical Dictionary

SHORT-TERM SUPPORTIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY

Medical Dictionary

is aimed at stabilising and strengthening the psychological defence mechanisms of those patients who are confronted by a crisis which threatens to overwhelm their ability to cope, or who are struggling with the aftermath of major life events.... Medical Dictionary

SOCIAL CAPITAL

Community Health

Kin and other sources of support available to an individual.... Community Health

SOCIAL CARE SERVICE

Community Health

Assistance with the activities of daily life (personal care, domestic maintenance, self-direction) delivered by a personal care helper, home helper or social worker and aimed at supporting older people who experience disabilities in functioning.... Community Health

SOCIAL CLASSES

Medical Dictionary

As factors such as the cause of death and the incidence of diseases vary in di?erent social strata, the Registrar-General evolved the following social classi?cation, which has now been in o?cial use for many years:

Class I Professional occupations, such as lawyers, clergymen, and commissioned o?cers in the Armed Forces.

Class II Intermediate occupations, such as teachers, managers and nurses.

Class III N: non-manual – for example, clerical workers.

Class III M: skilled manual occupations such as miners and bricklayers.

Class IV Partly skilled occupations, such as agricultural workers.

Class V Unskilled occupations, such as building and dock labourers.... Medical Dictionary

SOCIAL CONTROL

Community Health

A process within society which both formally, through law, and informally, through customs, norms and mores, attempts to influence and order the actions of social groups and their members and thus maintain public order.... Community Health

SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Community Health

A situation in which individuals are prevented from fully participating in society by factors such as age, poverty, disability or ethnicity.... Community Health

SOCIAL GROUP

Community Health

Any set of persons within society with particular demographic, economic or social characteristics.... Community Health

SOCIAL INTEGRATION

Community Health

The extent to which individuals are engaged with their families, friends, neighbours and communities.... Community Health

SOCIAL ISOLATION

Community Health

A condition in which an individual has extremely limited social networks and supports.... Community Health

SOCIAL MEDICINE

Medical Dictionary

See PUBLIC HEALTH.... Medical Dictionary

SOCIAL NETWORK

Community Health

An individual’s web of kinship, friendship and community ties.... Community Health

SOCIAL NETWORK CARE

Community Health

See “informal care”.... Community Health

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

Community Health

Benefits that include income for eligible persons from social security, old age, disability, and survivors’ pension schemes.... Community Health

SOCIAL SERVICES

Community Health

Services provided by government to improve the social welfare of those who need them.... Community Health

SOCIAL SUPPORT

Community Health

Emotional, instrumental and financial assistance obtained from an individual’s social network. Social support provided by family, friends and neighbours is referred to as ‘informal support’, whereas social support provided by formal service agencies is called ‘formal support’.... Community Health

SOCIAL WORK

Community Health

An intervention designed to enhance an individual’s physical, mental and social functioning through improved coping skills and use of social supports and community health care services. Those who practise social work are generally called social workers. There are many different types, specialties and grades of social worker. Those who specialize in care of older adults are often called geriatric or gerontological social workers.... Community Health

SUPPORT GROUP

Community Health

A group of people who share a common bond (e.g. caregivers, patients, families of patients) who come together on a regular basis to share problems and experiences or keep in contact in other ways (e.g. the Internet).... Community Health

SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION

Community Health

Accommodation providing varying levels of support for people with impaired functioning, ranging from residential care facilities to occasional assistance for people living independently.... Community Health

SUPPORTED HOUSING

Community Health

Accommodation where there is a degree of daily living support for its residents to enable them to live independently.... Community Health

SUPPORTED RESIDENTIAL SERVICE

Community Health

See “assisted living facility”.... Community Health

SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR HEALTH

Community Health

An environment that reduces risks to people’s health and promotes healthy living.... Community Health

TRANSPLANT SUPPORT SERVICES AUTHORITY

Medical Dictionary

In the UK, this NHS authority (UKTSSA) provides a 24-hour service for matching, allocating and distributing organs. It is also responsible for keeping the records of all patients awaiting transplants. Established in 1991, the authority allocates donor organs without favour, following protocols set by advisory groups. It also administers the Human Organ Transplant Act on behalf of the Department of Health. (See TRANSPLANTATION.)... Medical Dictionary