The Relationship Between Emotional Support and Health-Related Self-Efficacy in Older Prisoners [2017]

Objective: To determine whether emotional support, and proportion of emotional support provided by specific sources (e.g., family, other prisoners, clinicians), is associated with health-related self-efficacy among older prisoners.

Method: Cross-sectional study of 140 older prisoners age ≥50 with chronic medical illness who completed face-to-face interviews. Logistic regression, controlling for demographic, incarceration, and clinical/behavioral factors evaluated the association between emotional support, operationalized as a score and as a proportion of total emotional support from specific sources, and health-related self-efficacy.

Results: Higher emotional support scores, and greater proportion of support from clinicians, were associated with lower likelihood of poor health-related self-efficacy. Those with >50% of their emotional support coming from other prisoners had higher likelihood of poor self-efficacy.

Discussion: Among older prisoners with chronic illness, higher emotional support, particularly from clinicians, is associated with lower likelihood of poor self-efficacy; relying on other prisoners for emotional support is associated with poor health-related self-efficacy.

Deborah Noujaim, MPH, Richard H. Fortinsky, PhD, Lisa C. Barry, PhD, MPH
Journal of Aging and Health, Vol 31, Issue 3, 2019