Previous studies on the association between social support and bone health outcomes did not produce consistent results. The main goal of this study was to resolve the inconsistency by systematically examining the studies on the association in the last two decades. In order to do that, we distinguished between two types of social supports: structural supports, which is the pattern of person’s social relationship, and functional support, which is the perceived specific functions from social ties. For fracture, structural social support, especially marital (or cohabitation) status, showed a strong association between both men and women. For osteoporosis, however, only functional social support seemed to have an association, especially only among women. We want to take this conclusion as tentative since there are only 21 research papers on the topic during the period examined. We also ask for more diverse and elaborated measures of social supports developed in social studies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A3A2067165) and partially supported by the Graduate School of YONSEI University Research Scholarship Grants in 2017.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine