Worldwide, the chronic disease management is perhaps the major challenge for health care professionals, who are called to face patient’s problems in physical, psychological and social level. Social support, has an important role in the management of chronic disease, and according to the literature, it is positively correlated with physical and mental health. Many studies have demonstrated that social support is associated with low depression and anxiety, adaptation of health behaviors, adherence to therapeutic and dietary management, self-care and self-management, better quality of life and outcomes on patients with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, malignancies, diabetes mellitus and autoimmune diseases. The purpose of this literature review is to describe the concept and types of social support, and to explore the positive or negative impact on chronic disease management. Another aim is to identify strategies and interventions applied by health professionals to support the patient and his/her wider family network on emotional and practical level, making him/her able to effectively manage stress, disorders and other problems caused by the disease.
KEYWORDS: Health professional, social support, coping strategies, health, chronic disease