ORIGINAL PAPER
Psychological determinants of life satisfaction in women undergoing infertility treatment
 
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Department of Psychology, Katowice School of Economics, Katowice, Poland
Submission date: 2015-02-03
Final revision date: 2015-06-30
Acceptance date: 2015-07-25
Online publication date: 2016-01-11
Publication date: 2016-01-14
 
Health Psychology Report 2016;4(2):146–158
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
Infertility treatment is a long-term process, spread out over months, or even years, and carries no guarantee of success. It generates an incessant state of uncertainty which becomes a chronic state of psychological discomfort. Each stage of treatment may become a source of more trouble. Women deciding to undergo infertility treatment are exposed to many negative feelings concerning different aspects of their life.

Participants and procedure
The present study was an attempt to understand psychological determinants of life satisfaction in women undergoing infertility treatment. The study group included 470 women treated for infertility.

Results
Patients perceiving more social support in general, as well as more of the support types used in the study, i.e. emotional, instrumental, informational and institutional support, and support from family and friends, have better self-esteem, higher acceptance of their infertility, higher satisfaction with life, higher hope as an emotional state, and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Three negative emotional states, i.e. anxiety, depression and irritation, are predictors influencing (lowering) life satisfaction of women struggling with infertility. The strongest of these predictors is depression, which is also a factor lowering the acceptance of one’s own infertility. The conducted analyses revealed that predictors influencing the life satisfaction of patients treated for infertility are self-esteem and acceptance of one’s own infertility (apart from the aforementioned emotional state – anxiety, depression, irritation). It was found that the higher the self-esteem and acceptance of one’s own infertility, the higher was the satisfaction with life.

Conclusions
Knowledge of these determinants is extremely valuable for medical personnel conducting treatments, because, according to many studies, the psychological state of women suffering from procreation problems is connected not only with effectiveness of the used procedures, but mostly with psychological support provided for such women.
 
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