Coping, quality of life and psychological symptoms in three groups of sub-fertile women

Olga B A Van Den Akker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The process of assisted reproductive technology (ART), surrogacy and adoption pose different physical and psychological burdens on sub-fertile populations. Sub-fertile women (n = 176) were assessed retrospectively by questionnaire to determine if process (undergoing ART, surrogacy or adoption) or outcome (having a successful versus unsuccessful outcome) affected quality of life, coping style and psychological symptoms. The ART group was significantly younger, had a shorter period of sub-fertility, and was least likely to have a child than the adoptive and surrogate groups. Quality of life and psychological symptoms were not significantly different between groups, although significantly higher Mental Disengagement and Denial coping strategy scores were obtained for the ART group. Social, psychological, health and functioning quality of life, and Denial coping strategies were good predictors of outcome group. Treatment specific counselling of individuals use of coping strategies early on in their in/subfertility career to cope with the reality of prolonged childlessness is indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2005


  • Adoption
  • ART
  • Coping
  • Quality of life
  • Research
  • Surrogacy


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