Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Symposium Abstracts
Background and Objective:
It is well known that husbands’ alcoholic drinking has adverse effects on women’s physical and mental health or even family violence. Evidence is limited in the association between husbands’ alcohol drinking and women’s health-related quality of life (HRQOL), especially for postpartum women. The objective of this study is to investigate the association between husbands’ alcohol drinking and wives’ HRQOL during the postpartum period.
We used multistage stratified systematic sampling to recruit 24,200 pairs, postpartum women and newborns, from the Taiwan national birth register in 2005. A structured questionnaire was successfully administered to 87.8% of the sampled population. Subjects undertook a home interview 6 months after their deliveries between June 2005 and July 2006. The Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form (SF-36) was used to measure the quality of life of the women with their husbands’ alcohol drinking behavior.
After controlling for the potential confounders, there were significantly gradual decreases in wives’ scores on the SF-36 scales other than physical functioning along with the increase in frequency of husbands’ alcohol drinking. There were significantly gradual decreases in wives’ scores of SF-36 scales other than physical functioning and role-physical along with the increase in frequency of husbands’ alcohol drinking either in primiparous or multiparous women.
Our study adds evidence supporting the adverse effect of husbands’ alcohol drinking on women’s health as measured by the SF-36 HRQOL. However, the limitation that this study was cross-sectional in design should be considered. Further longitudinal follow-ups are needed to better understand this complex relationship between husbands’ alcohol drinking and wives’ quality of life.