The impact of social support on hospital utilization patterns of older adults with multiple chronic conditions: a qualitative study
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Five percent of the US population accounts for half of all health care costs. Members of this high-need, high-cost population are likely to be older, have multiple chronic conditions (MCC), and face complex social conditions. Social support is linked with health outcomes in models which have not been widely studied in this population. The objective of this study was to examine how social support is related to health care utilization based on the perceptions of high-need, high-cost older adults. 17 in-depth, open-ended interviews were conducted, .and directed content analysis was used to analyze the interviews. Participants in all hospitalization subgroups discussed all types, sources, and settings of social support. The adequacy of social support was important to participants and had consequences for their health care. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanism of social support and health and better represent the diversity of individuals who are high-need, high-cost.