Introduction In nursing, middle range theories are bodies of knowledge used to support the nursing practice, which are testable and as such, contain a limited number of variables and are thus also limited in terms of their scope (Peterson & Bredow, 2008). However, its mere nature of generality makes it useful enough to be used in a number of different clinical research questions that involve the nursing practice…
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The role of social support in the health care profession is well accepted and has been shown to provide a certain degree of assistance in terms of alleviation of a number of illnesses and diseases (Sieloff, Frey, & King, 2007). However, there are also still a number of pathological fields that have yet to explore the efficacy of social support in terms of alleviations of symptoms and general recovery. Along these lines, this paper explores the hypothesis, “A social support group for people with diabetes will increase their medication compliance,” within the boundaries of relevant concepts, particularly social support. A total of eight articles are reviewed in this paper, offering insights on the population and sample, background literature, and significance of earlier studies made in support of the mid-range theory of social support. Some of these articles cover the theory of social support and its perceived effects on people with diabetes, while others focus on a more general application of the theory on other diseases and medical conditions. The conceptual definitions of social support in nursing researches are largely the same, varying only in terms of the degree of intimacy that researchers agree upon. Operational definitions of social support, however, differ depending on the focus and the extent of the study. Different populations were used in the studies investigating the effects of the existence of a social support group. Since the particular hypothesis herein focuses on people with diabetes, the population utilized for a majority of the researches included in this review involves diabetic patients Social support: Review of Related Literature In a study by Patterson and Brewer (2009), social support was defined as “the informational, instrumental / practical, emotional, and affirmational resources that people can receive from others” (p. 178). Operationally, social support was measured in terms of the amount of “information, aid, strategy, or resource that helps the parent to cope with the stressors and challenges associated with parenting an adolescent with diabetes” (p. 179). In this study, the population considered were parents of children with diabetes and the sample consisted of nine parents (six mothers and 3 fathers) of children with Type 1 diabetes. The study explicitly mentions reference to theories of support (p. 179) and it supports the existing theory by showing that parents are necessary social support for adolescents with diabetes. In the second study reviewed, Goz, et al (2005) defined social support as “the assistance and protection given to others, especially to individuals.” Presence of social support was measured in terms of the presence of family, including parents, spouse, offspring, siblings and grandparents; friends; and, a significant other, in the form of boy/girlfriend, relative, neighbor, and doctor using a pre-piloted survey questionnaire delivered to the participants (Goz, et al, 2005). The population for the study consisted of patients with Type 2 diabetes while sample group consisted of “66 type 2 diabetes patients being followed up in the Diabetes Polyclinic of Kocaeli State Hospital in the Marmara
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