Sunday, November 22, 2009

In Sickness And In Health? Well, Sometimes

A "Newsweek" article makes discouraging reading. A new study, seconded by doctors' experience, shows that when a man gets a disease such as cancer or MS, his wife tends to slip naturally into the role of caregiver:
But husbands were more likely to take off, even if that meant the wife suffered more. And the study found that the medical consequences were considerable. Abandoned spouses, the researchers found, were more likely to be depressed and less likely to complete prescribed treatment or enroll in new therapies. They also spent more time in the hospital and were less likely to enroll in hospice care, probably because that's a service that generally takes place at home, Chamberlain says.
One answer, according to experts, is for doctors and other medical professionals to make sure couples get early access to counseling and other forms of support.

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