Social support and anxiety in adult emergency department patients
Problem: To test the relationship between social support and anxiety in adult emergency department patients.
Procedure: In the emergency department treatment room, following assessments by the nurse and physician, 90 participants 18 years and older completed a demographic data sheet and the questionnaires: The State Trait Anxiety Inventory and Revised-Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire developed by the researcher. Those adult participants with a support person present in the treatment room completed both questionnaires. Those participants without a support person presented completed the STAI.
Findings: (1) There was no significant difference in the state anxiety scores of the two groups of adult patients when social support was available and not available in a threatening situation, based on an analysis of covariance. (2) There was no significant relationship between the amount of social support perceived by the patient and the amount of state anxiety using a multiple R correlation statistic. (3) There was no significant relationship between the type of support person and the amount of social support perceived by the patient using a one-way analysis of variance test. (4) There was no overall significant relationship of the demographic variables, trait anxiety, amount of social support perceived by the patient and the amount of state anxiety based on a multiple regression analysis. There was a significant relationship found between age and state anxiety, and between trait anxiety and state anxiety. (5) There was no overall significant relationship of the demographic variables, state anxiety, trait anxiety, and the amount of social support perceived by the patient using multiple regression analysis. Individually, state anxiety approached a significant correlation with the amount of social support, and trait anxiety significantly correlated with the amount of social support. (6) Significant correlations of demographic variables are as follows: Marital status with age, education with experience in the study emergency department, and experience in any emergency department with experience in the study emergency department. (7) Further evidence of construct validity was found for the R-NSSQ with the correlations among the subscales of Affect, Affirmation, and Aid, and the total amount of social support at p<.05.