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Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental

Print version ISSN 1647-2160


VALENTIM, Olga Maria Martins de Sousa; SANTOS, Célia Samarina Vilaça de Brito  and  RIBEIRO, José Luís Pais. Vulnerability to stress and quality of life in relatives of people with alcoholism. Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental [online]. 2015, n.spe2, pp.57-62. ISSN 1647-2160.

The coexistence of relatives with a person with alcoholism may be seen as a situation of stress due to the unpredictability of their behaviour, economic difficulties and concurrent situations of verbal and physical abuse. This study addresses the concept of Vulnerability to Stress (VS), as each person reacts differently to the same problem and, where nursing staff become aware of this vulnerability, they may be able to intervene more efficiently, contributing to a better Quality of Life (QoL). OBJECTIVE(S):To find out about VS and its relationship with QoL in relatives of people with alcoholism. We intend to identify some nursing interventions that may improve the relatives’ QoL. METHODOLOGY:Cross-sectional, descriptive and correlational study. We applied the Vulnerability to Stress (23QVS) and Health Status (SF-36V2) questionnaires to 200 relatives of people with alcohol dependence who were diagnosed at least one year ago. RESULTS:The sample was composed primarily of married and employed women. In general, the relatives showed little vulnerability to stress (M=39.92; SD=13.15). VS was associated with greater age and lower level of education. In the different domains of the QoL scale, vitality (M=50.30, SD=21.51) and mental health (M=56.78, SD=22.94) were most compromised. CONCLUSIONS:The data suggest that VS is associated with a worse perception of QoL, therefore showing the need for nursing interventions to be directed towards helping relatives to manage stress and promote greater resilience.

Keywords : Health vulnerability; Quality of life; Family; Alcoholism.

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