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Grief responses and coping strategies among infertile women after failed in vitro fertilization treatment


Maw-Sheng Lee and Meng-Chih Lee, Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. E-mail:


Scand J Caring Sci; 2010; 24; 507–513
Grief Responses and coping strategies among Infertile Women after failed in vitro fertilization Treatment

Reproductive technology has increased the childbearing potential for many infertile women, but in vitro fertilization (IVF) failures are common, which often trigger grief responses and coping strategies to manage the stressful life event. The present cross-sectional study investigated 66 women who had experienced at least one failure with IVF treatment. The data were gathered by a self-administered structured questionnaire, and included the participant’s personal profile, grief responses and the Jalowiec’s coping scale. The most common grief response among the respondents was bargaining, followed by acceptance, depression, anger, denial, and isolation. The order of coping strategies used, from highest-to-lowest, were confrontative, optimistic, self-reliant, fatalistic, supportive, evasive, palliative, and emotive. Use and self-perceived effectiveness among all coping strategies had a high correlation, except emotion. Bargaining, the most common grief response, was associated with a variety of coping strategies. All coping strategies were correlated with grief responses. The results of identifying the grief responses and associated coping strategies of women who have undergone failed IVF treatment may assist nurses and other health care professionals in their efforts to provide appropriate information, care and psychological support.