The present study is an epidemiological work of the transversal type, with the objective of describing characteristics of social support and identifying associations between sociodemographic variables and categories of social support, in the rural population of Bairro dos Aleixos, in the municipality of Taquarituba São Paulo State Brazil. To measure social support, the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) scale was utilized, translated to Portuguese and validated in our environment. The population was characterized predominantly by white women between 60 and 69 years of age, married and/or living as concubines, of low incomes and residing in multigenerational domiciles. Elevated mean support scores were identified, indicating a favorable situation among the elderly persons studied. In average terms, the category of support with the worst score was "positive social interaction". Bivariate analysis demonstrated a positive association between the affective support score and emotional support with the number of persons in the domicile and greater frequency of high social-interaction scores (3rd tercile) in elderly men and those with a greater degree of formal education. The study also showed that lower social-support scores were more frequent in women, illiterates, widowers or single men, and elderly persons with income between one and two times the minimum salary.
Elderly; Social support; Health