Survey of psychological health in women with infertility

V. L. Souter, J. L. Hopton, Alexander Allan Templeton, Gillian Penney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aims of this study were to assess mental well-being in women undergoing investigation and initial management of infertility and to determine any specific factors, such as the duration or type of infertility, that might be associated with an increased risk of psychological morbidity. A postal survey was sent to 1080 women with infertility attending gynecology outpatient departments in 12 Scottish centres. The survey included the Twelve-Item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and three multi-item scales from the Short Form Health Survey Questionnaire (SF-36). The response rate was 47.4% (51211080) of which 507 completed the GHQ-12. Of the 507 GHQ-12 responders, 32.5% had a GHQ-12 score of greater than or equal to 8112 suggesting they were at risk of clinically significant psychological disturbance. There were no significant associations between GHQ-12 scores and duration of infertility, the presence of existing children, or the cause of infertility. GHQ-12 scores significantly increased with the number of clinic attendances and decreased as the patient's age increased. Responders scored significantly lower on all aspects of the selected SF-36 questions as compared to published population data, suggesting poorer mental health. These standardized psychological instruments suggest that approximately 32% of women in the early stages of infertility management may be at risk of developing clinically relevant mental health problems. Psychological aspects of infertility should be addressed as part of a more holistic approach to management of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology
Volume23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • infertility
  • psychology
  • female partner
  • survey
  • IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION
  • SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
  • PSYCHIATRIC MORBIDITY
  • OUTCOME MEASURE
  • PRIMARY-CARE
  • SURVEY SF-36
  • DEPRESSION
  • COUPLES
  • STRESS
  • GHQ

Cite this

Survey of psychological health in women with infertility. / Souter, V. L.; Hopton, J. L.; Templeton, Alexander Allan; Penney, Gillian.

In: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2002, p. 41-49.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Souter, V. L. ; Hopton, J. L. ; Templeton, Alexander Allan ; Penney, Gillian. / Survey of psychological health in women with infertility. In: Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2002 ; Vol. 23, No. 1. pp. 41-49.
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