Family Stress, Well-Being and Hope for the Future When Supporting a Relative with AOD Misuse: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Terence V. McCann, John Stephenson, Dan I. Lubman

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3 Citations (Scopus)


While families have a central role supporting relatives with alcohol and other drug (AOD) misuse, this can undermine their own well-being and hopefulness. The aims of this study were to assess the effect of supporting a relative with AOD misuse on affected family members’ (AFMs) psychological and physical well-being and hope for the future about their relative, and to identify factors associated with AFMs’ well-being and hope. A cross-sectional survey design with 90 AFMs. Over three-quarters of AFMs had not received any assistance from AOD services recently, nearly 80% experienced adverse effects on their physical health and ability to socialise with relatives and friends, and just over 50% reported detrimental effects on their paid employment. AFMs living with their relative with AOD misuse experienced more harmful stress than those who were not residing with their relative. Intimate partner AFMs experienced more mild-to-moderate physical and psychological ill health than non-partner AFMs. No socio-demographic factors were significantly associated with AFMs’ levels of hopefulness-hopelessness. Measures are needed to increase AFMs’ access to mental health nurses and other AOD clinicians for their own needs. Services and AOD clinicians should target, but not be restricted to, reducing stress and strengthening their physical and mental well-being and hopefulness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430–436
Number of pages7
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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