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Demographic and personality characteristics of couples undergoing in vitro fertilisation

, : Demographic and personality characteristics of couples undergoing in vitro fertilisation. Clinical Reproduction and Fertility 4(6): 373-381

Two hundred and fifty-eight (258) couples requesting in vitro fertilisation (IVF) were interviewed by a social worker prior to commencing treatment. At the time of admission to hospital 147 women and 134 men completed a questionnaire which incorporated the Eysenck Personality Inventory and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Forty-three women conceived and 26 couples (14.2%) required extra counselling or support after their involvement in the programme. Couples seeking IVF did not differ significantly from the rest of the population with respect to occupation, education, alcohol, cigarette and medication use. The personality characteristics of couples seeking IVF did not differ significantly from a local comparison group. Personality and psychosocial characteristics did not identify those couples who were more likely to become pregnant by IVF. However, couples who required extra counselling were more likely to have required similar help in the past. Women requiring counselling also scored significantly higher on the Eysenck neuroticism scale and the Spielberger State-Trait anxiety scales compared to those women who did not require extra counselling or support. The male partners scored significantly lower on the Eysenck scale of extroversion compared to male partners of couples who did not require support or counselling. We conclude that these inventories may be of value in identifying certain couples who require extra care during attempted conception by IVF.


PMID: 3594347

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