Psychosocial Health of Infertile Ghanaian Women and Their Infertility Beliefs

Authors

  • Florence Naab PhD, M'phil, RN,

    Corresponding author
    • Tau Lambda at Large, Lecturer, Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
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  • Roger Brown PhD,

    1. Professor, Schools of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Susan Heidrich PhD, RN

    1. Beta Eta at Large, Helen Denne Schulte Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nurse Scientist, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI, USA
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Dr. Florence Naab, Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Nursing, P.O. Box LG 43, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon Boundary, Accra, Ghana.

E-mail: florencenaab@yahoo.com

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to describe infertile women's psychosocial health problems and their infertility-related beliefs and examine the relationships between their beliefs about infertility and psychosocial health problems.

Design

The study was a descriptive correlational cross-sectional survey. Women (N = 203) who were receiving treatment for fertility problems in two public hospitals in Ghana were recruited.

Methods

Participants completed a Fertility Belief Questionnaire; measures of infertility-related stress, anxiety, social isolation, perceived stigma, and depressive symptoms; and sociodemographic and infertility-related health questions. Descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlations, and hierarchical regression analyses were performed.

Findings

The women reported high levels of infertility-related stress, low levels of anxiety, some social isolation, low levels of perceived stigma, and high levels of depressive symptoms. Beliefs that infertility has negative consequences and that one has a poor understanding of infertility were significantly related to infertility-related stress, social isolation, and depressive symptoms. Belief that infertility could be managed by personal control was significantly related to lower levels of anxiety and perceived stigma. Beliefs about consequences, illness coherence, and personal control explained significant proportions of the variances in anxiety, stress, social isolation, perceived stigma, and depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

Infertile women in Ghana have psychosocial health problems that are associated with their beliefs about infertility.

Clinical Relevance

Findings have implications for nursing care of infertile women in Ghana.

Ancillary