Abstract

Background and aim: Social support is an important factor that can affect mental health. In recent decades, many studies have been done on the impact of social support on mental health. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect size of the relationship between social support and mental health in studies in Iran. 

Methods: This meta-analysis was carried out in studies that were performed from 1996 through 2015. Databases included SID and Magiran, the comprehensive portal of human sciences, Noor specialized magazine databases, IRANDOC, Proquest, PubMed, Scopus, ERIC, Iranmedex and Google Scholar. The keywords used to search these websites included “mental health or general health,” and “Iran” and “social support.” In total, 64 studies had inclusion criteria meta-analysis. In order to collect data used from a meta-analysis worksheet that was made by the researcher and for data analysis software, CMA-2 was used.

Results: The mean of effect size of the 64 studies in the fixed-effect model and random-effect model was obtained respectively as 0.356 and 0.330, which indicated the moderate effect size of social support on mental health. The studies did not have publication bias, and enjoyed a heterogeneous effect size. The target population and social support questionnaire were moderator variables, but sex, sampling method, and mental health questionnaire were not moderator variables. 

Conclusion: Regarding relatively high effect size of the correlation between social support and mental health, it is necessary to predispose higher social support, especially for women, the elderly, patients, workers, and students.

 

Keywords: Social support, Mental health, Meta-analysis, General health
 
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