The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

An investigation was conducted in the Aberdeen area on wives of oil men working either off-shore or on-shore. No differences were found in measures of general health; but 'off-shore wives' were shown to experience mood and behavioural changes, linked to the pattern of swiftly recurring partings and reunions. While a majority of such wives appeared to tolerate or even thrive on their style of life, 10% had reactions sufficiently pronounced to deserve the label of Intermittent Husband Syndrome or 'caseness'. Many others would have benefited from more effective preventive and support services.