Published: 2017-03-28

Psychiatric morbidity and marital satisfaction: an empirical study on spouse of alcohol dependent cases in Barak valley, North-East India

Prosenjit Ghosh, Robin Victor, Himabrata Das, Shruti Sharma


Background: Alcohol dependence poses serious threats to the healthy functioning of the family apparatus in a multitude of ways. The deleterious impact of alcohol dependence on the couple remains an area of genuine concern for mental health professionals across the world.

Methods: 69 cases were selected consecutively from the Psychiatry Outpatient department fulfilling the ICD-10 criteria of alcohol dependence syndrome and the spouse of these cases were assessed to evaluate the pattern and severity of psychiatric morbidity and marital satisfaction. Statistical associations were found between the important variables.

Results: Out of the 69 cases, we found that mean age of the alcohol dependent cases was 40.75±8.21 while that of their spouse was 33.91±7.86 years Most of the alcoholics had 1-9 years of alcohol dependence (86.95%) and severe alcohol dependence (47.82%) based on SADD score. Majority of the spouse of the alcoholics suffered from psychiatric illness (60.86%) with the most common diagnosis being depressive disorder (30.43%) based on ICD-10 criteria. Most of the spouse had lower level of marital satisfaction and presence of marital dissatisfaction was significantly associated with a more severe dependence among their alcoholic husbands. Increased duration of alcohol consumption was associated with higher severity of alcohol dependence. Also, the presence of psychiatric morbidity in the spouse was associated with increased years and higher severity of alcohol dependence.

Conclusions: If the spouses are psychologically healthy, a good support system is ensured for them which is necessary to maintain motivation levels to leave alcohol.


Alcohol dependence, Marital satisfaction, Psychiatric morbidity, Spouse

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