Abbreviating the Duke Social Support Index for use in chronically ill elderly individuals

Psychosomatics. 1993 Jan-Feb;34(1):61-9. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(93)71928-3.


The 35-item Duke Social Support Index (DSSI) measures multiple dimensions of social support and has been used extensively in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of aging. Epidemiological studies of chronically ill, frail elderly individuals often wish to include a measure of social support. However, most multidimensional measures (including the DSSI) are long and may exhaust the patient, especially when included in an often already congested interview schedule. The authors have developed two abbreviated versions of the DSSI (23-item and 11-item) that capture the essential components of social support related to mental health outcomes and use of health services in treating elderly individuals with nonpsychiatric medical illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged*
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Support*
  • United States / epidemiology