Social capital: a novel platform for understanding social determinants of health in systemic lupus erythematosus.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to introduce the concept of social capital as a unique and distinct entity from the traditional psychosocial factors of social support, depressive symptoms, and self-efficacy in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and to evaluate how social capital varies in an SLE sample according to demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables.
METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, SLE patients completed the Adapted Social Capital Assessment Tool (A-SCAT), which measures cognitive and structural social capital. Patients also completed measures of social support, depressive symptoms, and SLE self-efficacy. Correlations were evaluated between social capital scores and demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables.
RESULTS: We recruited 89 patients (mean age: 39 ± 15 years old, 83 (93): female; mean SLEDAI: 4; mean SLICC 1). The mean A-SCAT score was 34 ± 15 (normal: 0-71); higher scores were associated with female sex, older age, higher education, Caucasian race, and non-Medicaid insurance (p ≤ 0.03 for all); associations were attributable to structural social capital. Social capital was not associated with depressive symptoms, self-efficacy, or affectionate and interaction social support, but was associated with informational and tangible social support (r = 0.39, r = 0.26, respectively, p ≤ 0.02). There were no associations between SLEDAI and SLICC and social capital, social support, and depressive symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: Social capital is a novel construct that, like other traditional psychosocial measures, addresses aspects of SLE not reflected by markers of disease activity. Social capital, however, is distinct from traditional psychosocial measures and offers a new platform on which ideas of social connectedness can broaden our understanding of health and chronic illness.
Published In/Presented At
Kim, S. S., Mancuso, C. A., Huang, W., & Erkan, D. (2015). Social capital: a novel platform for understanding social determinants of health in systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus, 24(2), 122-129. doi:10.1177/0961203314550224
Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty