Author(s): Koustubh R. Bagul1, Shrikant B. Deshmukh2, Monika K. Bagul3, Parth S. Deshmukh4

BACKGROUND: Alcohol Dependence syndrome (ADS) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders that has deleterious consequences not only on the patient with ADS but also hampers social , financial , and legal matters of his family hence could be considered as a disorder of the family. Spouses of patients with ADS , a key member of such dysfunctional family system, are most vulnerable to have significant psychiatric disorders like adjustment disorders , mood disorders , anxiety disorders and psychosocial problems. Hence we have undertaken this study in order to understand and address such issues which is largely neglected in psychiatric research.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To assess the severity of alcohol dependence & its adverse effect on families, the prevalence and pattern of psychiatric morbidity and marital quality in spouses of men with ADS and to explore the association between them.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 60 spouses of males with ADS according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders??? IV (DSM IV-TR) Criteria were screened for psychiatric morbidity using General Health Questionnaire and the presence of specific psychiatric disorders using Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV AXIS-I & AXIS-II (SCID-I & SCID-II). Severity of alcohol dependence in males and its adverse consequences was assessed using Short Alcohol Dependence Data and Drinkers Inventory of Consequences, respectively. Marital quality was assessed using the marital quality scale. Data obtained was analyzed statistically.

RESULTS: High prevalence of Psychiatric morbidity (63.33%) among spouses of alcohol dependent men, with majority having Axis I diagnosis of Major Depression (35%), Anxiety and Adjustment Disorder. None of them had personality disorders on SCID II. Psychiatric morbidity, poor marital quality in spouses and high alcohol dependence in their husbands and its adverse consequences were found to be significantly correlated with each other and their association was robust particularly Impulse Control, Interpersonal and Social Responsibility were most affected.

CONCLUSION: Spouses of alcohol dependent men have high Psychiatric morbidity and low Marital Quality. Addressing these issues will be beneficial as spouses are known to play an important role in the treatment of ADS.

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