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.