The Meaning of Treatments for Infertility: Cognitive Determinants and Structure

Shoshana Shiloh, Slmona Larom, Zion Ben‐Rafael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Infertility is a life crisis for which modern technologies suggest solutions that themselves are stressful. The purpose of the present study was to determine how treatments for infertility are perceived, and the cognitive structure underlying their perception. Fifty women undergoing in vitro fertilization and 50 fertile women recorded their perceptions of 10 infertility treatments on 15 dimensions. Intergroup comparisons showed that patients generally perceived the treatments more positively than nonpatients, and differences in perceptions focused on female‐centered treatments rather than on male‐centered and donor‐involved treatments. Fertile women tended to be more concerned with the risks to the fetus, whereas infertile patients tended to be more concerned with the social exposure of the treatments. Cluster analysis revealed that patients' conceptions of infertility treatments were organized according to the most salient features of the procedures being applied, whereas fertile women's were organized according to the cause of infertility. The significance of these findings for providing care for infertile couples is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-874
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1991

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