The Lubben Social Network Scale can be used to assess the level of social support available to an elderly patient. This can help identify a person who may need assistance or help and when. The author is from the University of California in Los Angeles.


Measures - 10 questions:

(1) family networks: 3 questions

(2) friends networks: 3 questions

(3) confidant relationships: 2 questions

(4) helping others: 1 two part question

(5) living arrangements: 1 question


Responses range from 0 (poor) to 5 (good).



• In-laws are considered as relatives.

• Examples of helping others: shopping, cooking dinner, doing repairs, cleaning house, providing child care, etc.?

• For item 9, I interpret the first part as referring to one person, while the second part might apply to more than one person.


total score =

= SUM(points for all 10 questions)



• minimum score: 0

• maximum score: 50

• The higher the score, the greater the level of social support.

• A score < 20 indicates a person who may have an extremely limited social network.



< 20


21 – 25

high risk for isolation

26 – 30

moderate risk for isolation

>= 31

low risk for isolation

from Rubinstein et al



• The scores for each item are anchored between 0 and 5 in order to allow for equal weighting of the 10 parameters.

• The score has been shown to have an adequate internal consistency.

• The score correlates significantly with selected health measures.


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