Family structure and patient survival in an African-American end-stage renal disease population: a preliminary investigation
Social Science & Medicine
Few studies have examined the influence of the family on the course of chronic illness in African-Americans. We explore the relationship between family structure, defined as marital status and household composition, and patient survival. Patient gender was examined as a possible moderator in this relationship. Using data from a survey of 476 African-American end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, a significant association between household composition and patient survival was found. Results from Cox proportional hazards model, controlling for patient age, indicated that patients who live in `complex' households (i.e. those with a partner and/or others) are at greater risk for shortened survival as compared to those who live alone or with a spouse/partner (p<0.05). When we examined whether patient gender moderates this relationship, female patients who live in these households were found to be at 2 times greater risk for shortened survival (p<0.01) than female patients who live alone or with their spouse/partner only. Family structure was not significantly associated with survival in male patients. Discussion and implications of findings are addressed.
Turner-Musa, Jocelyn O.; Leidner, David; Simmens, Samuel; and Reiss, David, "Family structure and patient survival in an African-American end-stage renal disease population: a preliminary investigation" (1999). College of Liberal Arts. 31.