Support Groups Attendance Mostly White Middle Class - How About Everyone Else

The biggest group that seems to gravitate toward support groups is those who have suffered from cancer. Taylor, (1986) reports that cancer patients between the age of 21 and 89 received high levels of social support from cancer support groups or other groups that dealt with disease or death. There were isolated instances that some people felt that they did not receive the support that they wanted from friends, family, or traditional medicine. People who attended the groups showed marked depression than from other people who did not attend support groups. The attendee's majority population was made up of white middle class Americans. The research team concluded that though the support groups were successful for some patients, it seemed to be affecting only a certain segment of the population both in the arenas of race and income.

As with many alternative medicine groups or practices, race and income contribute to the use of them. Education about alternative medicines is sometimes not available to minorities and in many cases it is unattainable by the majority of certain ethnic groups. The economic disparity also is a hindrance to the attainment of support groups and other therapies. Though social illnesses like alcoholism and drug addiction is provided to people of low income and in ethnic neighborhoods, many times these services go unattended because of the social makeup of those neighborhoods. Support groups are sometimes held in churches or religious buildings to give people the comfort that they need to overcome their suffering and provide a local that is easily accessible.


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