In Sickness and In health: The Critical role Spouses play
“For better or for worse.” “In sickness and in health.” Both phrases are often used in weddings, though the newlyweds may not completely realize just what those words mean. IC patients and their spouses are putting such vows to the test navigating this painful, chronic condition together. How they navigate the hard times can impact how they feel.
In November, researchers from Queen’s University in Ontario, Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, III., and the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., released their findings that a supportive spouse can improve the mental health quality of life in women suffering from IC.
“The primary finding in this study is that ‘distracting’ spousal responses act to ‘buffer’ the negative effects of pain on mental quality of life for women suffering from IC”, said Dean A. Tripp, Ph.D., associate professor in the Departments of Psychology, Anesthesia & Urology at Queen’s University, and one of the researchers conducting the study.
The study surveyed 96 women about the responses of their husbands to their pain as well as the women’s quality of life, depression and their disability. Tripp said he and his colleagues found it unacceptable that no such study had yet been conducted for IC patients considering that IC clearly impacts the entire family.