Impact of a husband's chronic illness (COPD) on the spouse's life

Authors

  • Dorothy L. Sexton EdD,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    • Yale University, School of Nursing, 855 Howard Avenue, PO Box 3333, New Haven, CT 06510
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    • Dr. Dorothy L. Sexton is associate professor and chairperson of the Medical-Surgical Nursing Program, Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, CT. Dr. Barbara Hazard Munro is associate professor and chairperson of the Program in Nursing Research, Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, CT.

  • Barbara Hazard Munro


Abstract

This study was conducted to determine the impact of a husband's chronic illness on the spouse's life. The sample was 76 married women, 46 whose husbands had a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 30 whose husbands did not have a chronic illness. On a mailed questionnaire wives of COPD patients reported higher subjective stress (p = .032) and lower life satisfaction (p = .006) than the wives whose husbands did not have a chronic illness. The COPD wives assumed more new roles and responsibilities, relinquished more social activities, rated their health lower, and reported less frequent marital relations. Implications for future research are addressed.

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