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Interactive effects of social support and social conflict on medication adherence in multimorbid older adults


Warner, LM and Schuz, B and Aiken, L and Ziegelmann, JP and Wurm, S and Tesch-Romer, C and Schwarzer, R, Interactive effects of social support and social conflict on medication adherence in multimorbid older adults, Social Science & Medicine, 87, (2013) pp. 23-30. ISSN 0277-9536 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.03.012


With increasing age and multimorbidity, medication regimens become demanding, potentially resulting in suboptimal adherence. Social support has been discussed as a predictor of adherence, but previous findings are inconsistent. The study examines general social support, medication-specific social support, and social conflict as predictors of adherence at two points in time (6 months apart) to test the mobilization and social conflict hypotheses. A total of 309 community-dwelling multimorbid adults (65–85 years, mean age 73.27, 41.7% women; most frequent illnesses: hypertension, osteoarthritis and hyperlipidemia) were recruited from the population-representative German Ageing Survey. Only medication-specific support correlated with adherence. Controlling for baseline adherence, demographics, physical fitness, medication regimen, and attitude, Time 1 medication-specific support negatively predicted Time 2 adherence, and vice versa. The negative relation between earlier medication-specific support and later adherence was not due to mobilization (low adherence mobilizing support from others, which over time would support adherence). Social conflict moderated the medication-specific support to adherence relationship: the relationship became more negative, the more social conflict participants reported. Presence of social conflict should be considered when received social support is studied, because well-intended help might have the opposite effect, when it coincides with social conflict.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:medication adherence, social support, older adults, multimorbidity
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Schuz, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
ID Code:83994
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2013-04-08
Last Modified:2017-12-08
Downloads:63 View Download Statistics

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