FertiQoL is a questionnaire internationally developed to measure fertility-specific quality of life. It has been validated with infertile populations in many countries and used in several studies focusing on the psychosocial consequences of infertility in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Over a period of two years, 596 infertile women and men took part in the study conducted at three German fertility clinics. Psychometric properties of FertiQoL were tested by performing confirmatory factor analyses, calculating average variance extracted values, reliability and correlation coefficients. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to determine the relations between FertiQoL subscales and both sociodemographic and medical variables. Individual and cross-partner effects were tested for.
The confirmatory factor analyses conducted on our FertiQoL data supported the original four-factor solution for both women and men but, resulted in some unsatisfactory indices. Family and friends' support items loaded weakly on the Social subscale of FertiQoL (.27 and .34 in women, .32 and .19 in men). The Emotional and Mind/Body subscales revealed a strong intercorrelation (r = .77, p < .001 in women, r = .74, p < .001 in men). Women scored lower than men on the Emotional and Mind/Body subscales only, and they reported better fertility-specific relational QoL. In women, the perceived cause of infertility and already mothering a child related significantly to individual FertiQoL scores, while in men, age, educational level, and the duration of their wish for a child had an impact on the FertiQoL subscales (all p < .05). The men's educational level, the women's educational level, and the subjective perceived medical cause of fertility problems exerted cross-partner effects on QoL (all p < .05).
Our study results represent a contribution both to research and clinical practice. The findings suggest the importance of considering the personal experience of infertility in different cultural and gender specific settings and that the strong connections between the emotional, physical, and cognitive aspects of an individual's fertility-specific quality of life should be regarded as a more coherent system.
DRKS: DRKS00014707 . Registered 1 May 2018 (retrospectively registered).