Trijntje Y. G. van der Voort, Rn, MscN.
Alone together: A grounded theory study of experienced burden, coping, and support needs of spouses of persons with a bipolar disorder
Version of Record online: 2 NOV 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Volume 18, Issue 6, pages 434–443, December 2009
How to Cite
Van Der Voort, T. Y. G., Goossens, P. J. J. and Van Der Bijl, J. J. (2009), Alone together: A grounded theory study of experienced burden, coping, and support needs of spouses of persons with a bipolar disorder. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 18: 434–443. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2009.00634.x
Peter J. J. Goossens, Rn, PhD.
Jaap J. van der Bijl, Rn, PhD.
- Issue online: 2 NOV 2009
- Version of Record online: 2 NOV 2009
- Accepted June 2009.
- bipolar disorder;
- support needs;
Bipolar disorder is a chronic and severe mental disorder. Little is known about the experiences of the spouses of such patients. A grounded theory study was undertaken to examine the burden for spouses living with a partner with a bipolar disorder and to explore how they cope and what support they need. Fifteen spouses and ex-spouses were interviewed; they experienced heavy burden and found themselves to be ‘alone together.’ Their coping process is found to involve appraisal of the situation and attempts to achieve a balance between self-effacement and self-fulfilment. While support can clearly reduce experienced burden, the spouses surprisingly receive virtually no professional support. A theory is developed that constitutes a starting point for the development of adequate support for spouses.