OBJECTIVE: To explore the impact, reactions and coping methods of the significant others (SOs) of people with Ménière’s disease (MD).
DESIGN: SOs of people with MD were asked to answer open-ended questions reporting the ‘life effects’ and ‘positive experiences’ they have had as a result of the partner’s condition. The replies to the ‘life effects’ question was categorized using the WHO-ICF framework. The responses of ‘life effects’ from this study and the ‘positive experiences’ reported in a recent study ( Manchaiah et al, 2013 ) were evaluated with K-means clustering analysis.
STUDY SAMPLE: Eighty-eight SOs (42 male, 42 female, and four did not state gender).
RESULTS: While the SOs mainly listed their own problems, a significant number of responses related to the problems of their partner. Personal perspectives tended to focus on the consequences of their partner’s condition, whereas in perspectives of their partner they focussed on his/her symptoms. Further, replies from 81 SOs were used in evaluation of responses and were classified into four categories: constrained life attitude; disease burden attitude; care and support attitude; and social isolation attitude.
CONCLUSIONS:The results of this study support the importance of including the SO of people with MD in the rehabilitation process.