Needs of Spouses of Patients with Substance Use Disorder: A Qualitative Study

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

The skill of adjusting and regulating the needs and adaptation are the most fundamental abilities of family members. Since substance use related disorders create serious health threats and cost burdens for family, it is important to investigate the needs of spouses of these patients. Regarding the wide spectrum of needs based on previous researches, the psychiatric needs were the focus in this study. By evaluating the needs, the executives of social services can better determine the basic needs of patients and their family members.


This is a qualitative study applying a content analysis approach. Based on the objectives of this research, purposeful sampling was done and continued until information saturation. In total, 16 spouses of patients using substance were interviewed. Initial interviews began with guiding questions and the probing questions were applied in the following interviews. Participants’ emotions were coded and codes with similar concepts were placed together in one category and subcategories were created.


After conducting 16 in-depth interviews, 38 initial codes were obtained and categorized into 6 key concepts (Neglecting the reciprocal roles and rights, lack of responsibility, lack of motivation, psychiatric changes due to substance use, feelings of insecurity, and defective communication).


The present study paves the way in better understanding of the needs of the spouses of patients with substance use disorder, and enables the specialists in this area to adjust the treatment according to each individual patient and evaluate emerging patient related issues and challenges as well. Substance dependence, in addition to making problems for the individual and the society, leads to unsatisfied needs of close family members and acquaintances. In other words, treatment will be more effective if each patient is recognized individually, the family is educated, and family-level interventions are provided.

Journal of Iranian Medical Council, Volume:4 Issue: 2, Spring 2021
86 to 92  
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