Social vulnerability in patients with multimorbidity: A cross-sectional analysis
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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Background: Social aspects play an important role in individual health and should be taken into consideration in the long-term care for people with multimorbidity. Purposes: To describe social vulnerability, to examine its correlation with the number of chronic conditions, and to investigate which chronic conditions were significantly associated with the most socially vulnerable state in patients with multimorbidity. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis from the baseline data of the Patient-Centred Innovations for Persons with Multimorbidity (PACEinMM) Study. Participants were patients attending primary healthcare settings in Quebec, Canada. A social vulnerability index was applied to identify social vulnerability level. The index value ranges from 0 to 1 (1 as the most vulnerable). Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was calculated for the correlation between the social vulnerability index and the number of chronic conditions. Logistic regression was applied to investigate which chronic conditions were independently associated with the most socially vulnerable state. Results: There were 301 participants, mean age 61.0 ± 10.5, 53.2% female. The mean number of chronic health conditions was 5.01 ± 1.82, with the most common being hyperlipidemia (78.1%), hypertension (69.4%), and obesity (54.2%). The social vulnerability index had a median value of 0.13 (range 0.00–0.78). There was a positive correlation between the social vulnerability index and the number of chronic conditions (r = 0.24, p < 0.001). Obesity, depression/anxiety, and cardiovascular diseases were significantly associated with the most socially vulnerable patients with multimorbidity. Conclusions: There was a significant correlation between social vulnerability and the total number of chronic conditions, with depression/anxiety, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases being the most related to social vulnerability.