Spousal Burden in Partners of Patients with Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder
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Zespół Leczenia Środowiskowego – Specjalistyczny Szpital im. Dr. J. Babińskiego w Krakowie
Zakład Zaburzeń Afektywnych, Katedra Psychiatrii UJ CM
Rafał Jaeschke   

Zakład Zaburzeń Afektywnych, Katedra Psychiatrii UJ CM, ul. Kopernika 21a, 31-501 Kraków, Polska
Submission date: 2014-03-20
Acceptance date: 2014-03-29
Publication date: 2014-08-20
Psychiatr Pol 2014;48(4):773–787
The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between the burden level of spouses of patients in the symptomatic remission state of the major depressive disorder (MDD; 60 patients) or bipolar disorder (BD; 65 patients) and coping styles.

The Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire was used to assess the burden magnitude. Coping styles were evaluated by the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations. Information concerning patients’ clinical histories, a marriages characteristics and sociodemographic data were obtained from a structured clinical interview.

There were significant levels of the perceived burden in spouses of patients with either BD or MDD. In both groups the burden level was significantly higher for spouses with worse appraisal of the marital adjustment and functioning. A positive correlation between higher perceived level of burden and emotion-focused coping style was found in both groups. For the problem-oriented coping style a negative correlation with the perceived burden level was found in the BD group only. The quality of ‘current sexual satisfaction’ was significantly lower among the spouses of BD patients. The sense of illness-driven deterioration of the quality of their sexual lives implied higher level of total and objective burden of spouses in the MDD sample. This was not the case among the spouses of patients diagnosed with BD.

Spouses of patients with affective disorders should be offered with opportunities of training in more effective methods of coping (including problem-solving methods) with an illness of a family member, in order to decrease the level of burden.