A longitudinal investigation of the impact of IVF treatment on marital satisfaction
This longitudinal study aimed to investigate into the impact of IVF treatment on marital satisfaction. The study was based upon the psychological sequelae model of infertility and encompasses the framework of the family systems theory. The study consisted of two groups, an IVF group (10 couples) and a comparison group (16 couples). Measures of marital satisfaction (Golombok-Rust Inventory of Marital State, Rust, Bennun, Crowe & Golombok, 1988) and marital happiness (Marital Happiness Scale, Azrin, Naster & Jones, 1973), as well as measures of mood and emotional state (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Zigmond & Snaith, 1983) were obtained before starting treatment, after the completion of treatment and at a one-month follow up. The results of the study found no significant differences between the two groups or between the sexes in each group on measures of marital satisfaction, happiness, depression or anxiety at the pre, post and follow up stages. Responses to additional questions given to the IVF group at the post treatment stage, suggested that undergoing IVF treatment had a positive effect on individuals' marriages and a sense that it had brought them closer together. The implications of these results and possible further experimental work is discussed.