Sagar Chiddarwar, Deepika Abhainath Singh


Background:  Chronic psychiatric disorders have huge psychosocial burden. In the Indian family set up, wives are main caregivers and thus these illnesses may have a huge impact on them.

Aim: This study aims at assessing the marital distress and burden of illness experienced along with their association in the wives of patients with schizophrenia & alcohol dependence.

Materials & Methods:  This was a cross-sectional single interview study with study population of 30 wives each of patients with schizophrenia [group A] & alcohol dependence [group B]. After institutional ethics committee approval, wives of the patients were interviewed using semi structured proforma which included Socio-demographic profile, Dyadic Adjustment Scale (to assess marital distress) and Burden Assessment Scale (to assess perceived illness burden). Data thus obtained was analyzed statistically.

Results: Marital distress was seen equally in the spouses of patients with schizophrenia and alcohol dependence, but dyadic satisfaction was seen more in the spouses of patients with schizophrenia. There was no difference between the burden of illness perceived in the two groups however impact of illness on marital relations was seen more in the spouses of patients with Alcohol Dependence. Negative correlation was seen between marital adjustment and burden of the illness.

Conclusion: This study gives insight into the effect of major chronic psychiatric disorder on the marital life and the burden of illness. Early intervention and better coping mechanisms can help to improve the quality of life of the spouses.


Marital Distress, Burden of illness

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