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Defining social support in context: A necessary step in improving research, intervention, and practice

Williams, P, Barclay, Lesley and Schmied, V (2004). Defining social support in context: A necessary step in improving research, intervention, and practice. Qualitative Health Research,14(7):942-960.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 62 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Title Defining social support in context: A necessary step in improving research, intervention, and practice
Author Williams, P
Barclay, Lesley
Schmied, V
Journal Name Qualitative Health Research
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 14
Issue Number 7
ISSN 1049-7323   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-4944251731
Start Page 942
End Page 960
Total Pages 19
Place of Publication United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Field of Research 1110 - Nursing
1117 - Public Health and Health Services
1701 - Psychology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract A substantial body of work on the concept of social support has resulted in many definitions, but none have been accepted as definitive. The lack of consensus about the definition of social support has resulted in a lack of consistency and comparability among studies. More important, the validity of any study attempting to measure or influence social support is undermined by the use of generic definitions, which lack contextual sensitivity. In this article concept analysis is used to evaluate definitions of social support to ascertain their utility for research. The authors argue that a contextualized approach to the definition of social support is necessary to improve clarity in research, and results in interventions or practices that are useful. They also assert that the development of a contextualized definition of social support requires qualitative methods to explore the meaning of social support with groups of people for whom intervention research is ultimately intended.
Keywords concept analysis
critical appraisal
definition
qualitative methods
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049732304266997   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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