ERIC Number: ED316827
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Do Formal Supports Replace Informal Supports?
Barer, Barbara M.; And Others
Health policy researchers have long been interested in the extent to which the provision of formal supports replaces or undermines the informal support system. This study examined the linkages between the formal and informal support system as they are mediated by a health care setting which readily provides patients with access to social services. Subjects (N=200) were ambulatory and alert adults over age 65 who were patients at general medical clinics. Subjects were interviewed about health status and health care and social service utilization, as well as their activities with and supports from members of their families and friends. To assess the relationship between formal and informal sources of support, data were examined on the subjects' need for support, their family relationships, and their use of community services. The results indicated that support from the family was not necessarily forthcoming. The receipt of formal services in this population was based upon need as measured by living alone and being functionally impaired, and not upon family variables. Most had inadequate family resources, with few subjects married and many with no children in the immediate area. In summary, high use of formal services was associated with high needs. Family involvement was not significantly associated with use of formal services. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A