Social support is a middle range theory that addresses structure and interaction in relationships. It impacts health status, health behavior, and use of health services ( Stewart, 1993 ). As health professionals, nurses often have access to clients’ social networks. Through communication with clients and their family members, nurses can intervene to promote or strengthen social support. The literature identifi es many positive consequences of social support, including health-promoting behaviors, personal competence, coping, a sense of well-being, self-worth, and decreased anxiety and depression ( Langford et al., 1997 ). Research on social support interventions can provide nurses with knowledge about the most effective strategies for strengthening social support for clients, which contributes to improved health status.
Middle Range Theories: Application to Nursing Research: Third Edition
Schaffer, Marjorie A., "Social support" (2013). Nursing Faculty Publications. 51.