Psychological Distress Among Infertile Women Attending Razan Center In West Bank In Palestine: Quantitative Study

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Belal Mahamoud Rahhal / Supervisor
Dr. Wael Abu-Hassan / External Examiner
Dr.Sabrina Rosso / Internal Examiner
Dr. Belal Mahamoud Rahhal / Supervisor
Layali Katwsa
Aim of the Study: This study focuses on infertility and its impacts on Palestinian women mental health status. It was comes to assess psychological distress quantitatively in women suffering from infertility living in the West Bank in Palestine. Method: A descriptive design was used to investigate the impacts of infertility on Palestinian women’s mental health status and to investigate the most prevalent psychological problems among infertile women. The Symptom Checklist-90-R, a standardized instrument for the measurement of current psychological symptom status, was administered on Eighty eight women diagnosed with infertility and to improve the validity of our study, local control group was added; this group consisted of 100 women who attend family planning clinic, women between the ages of 18 and 42 years were taken as a convenience sample. All these respondents filled the Derogatis SCL.90-R (a self report measure of mental health symptomatology) by themselves. Data analysis: The SCL-90-R was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16 ;the calculations of means, standard deviations, the ratio percentiles, a Kruskall-Wallis Tests carried on analyze the collected data by Derogatis's SCL.90-R. RESULTS: Analyses of the SCL-90-R indicated that participants in the study group differed in their psychological symptom status when compared with controls. Infertile women in the current study have more psychological distress as represented through the 3 indices and 9 symptom dimensions of the SCL-90-R, than fertile women , the results showed there were a statistical significant differences among the two groups of participants in relation to GSI; PSDI ; paranoid idea ;obsessive-compulsive; interpersonal sensitivity; depression symptoms ; anxiety symptoms ; and phobic anxiety . The results of the study demonstrated , that the duration of infertility , causes of infertility ,age and place of residence did not show any significant effect on mental health of infertile women . Other independent variables were found to be significant under some circumstances, such as employment and scientific qualifications. Summary: This was the first study in Palestine that explored mental health status of the infertile women. In addition, the present study could be the first study of its kind in the Arab countries as far as the literature showed, which investigated the psychological distress among infertile women by using the Symptom Checklist-90-R, a standardized instrument for the measurement of current psychological symptom status. When compared with controls, female partners of infertile couples experienced elevated levels of psychological distress, despite the negative feelings that were reported by many respondents; very few had ever consulted a mental health professional or sought counseling. Special consideration should be given to the emotional needs and psychological distress of infertile Palestinian women. The Psychological aspects of infertility should be given more attention, and be considered in all stages of treatment and medical interventions to decrease the psychological suffering of the infertile couples and to prevent developing of any psychological distress.
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