Predictors of quality of life and psychological health in infertile couples: the moderating role of duration of infertility
To investigate the influence of individual characteristics (age, gender, educational level, coping strategies), perceived couple’s Dyadic Adjustment, type of diagnosis and duration of infertility on self-reported quality of life (QoL) and psychological health in infertile couples, examining the potential moderating role of duration of infertility.
A questionnaire composed by socio-demographics, Coping Orientations to Problem Experienced, Dyadic Adjustment Scale, FertiQoL, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and Edinburgh Depression Scale was submitted to 206 couples undergoing infertility treatments.
Female patients perceived significantly lower levels of QoL and higher levels of Anxiety and Depression. High Educational level and Social Support Coping strategy were associated with higher QoL and psychological health only in female patients. Problem Solving Coping strategy was associated with higher QoL and psychological health only in male patients. Positive Attitude and Avoidance/Distancing Coping strategies and perceived couple’s Dyadic Adjustment were associated with higher QoL and psychological health in both male and female patients. Duration of infertility > 3 years was associated with a reduction of protective effects of all coping strategies but did not affect protective effects of Educational level and couple’s Dyadic Adjustment.
Both positive/active and avoiding/distancing coping strategies are effective to promote QoL and psychological health in infertile couples, but they are all compromised by a long duration of infertility. Conversely, positive effects of educational level and couple’s Dyadic Adjustment persist and should be emphasised in the definition of interventions to promote well-being in couples undergoing long-term treatments.
KeywordsInfertility Quality of life Coping strategies Couple’s dyadic adjustment Anxiety Depression
The authors would like to thank all the study participants.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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