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Title: How religious faiths and spiritual beliefs affect the experiences of infertile women seeking infertility treatments
Author: Latifnejad Roudsari, Robab
ISNI:       0000 0004 2667 9840
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2008
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Background & Objectives: Infertility is an acute life crisis which may last for an indeterminate length of time. In holistic approach to infertile women’s care, which is believed to assist patients cope better with their experiences, all aspects of care including religious and spiritual needs of individuals should be considered. A literature review revealed that religious and spiritual dimensions of infertility have received very little attention. This study examined how women experienced infertility in its religious and spiritual contexts and how these perspectives affected the strategies infertile women adopted to handle infertility. Method: Using a feminist grounded theory approach 30 infertile women affiliated to different denominations of Christianity (Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy) and Islam (Shi’a and Sunni) were interviewed. Seven infertile women with no formal religion also included in the study. Data were collected through semi structured in-depth interviews in one Iranian and two UK fertility clinics and analyzed using Strauss and Corbin’s mode of grounded theory analysis. Findings: The substantive theory of “relying on a higher being” was generated from data which encompassed four sequential stages: encountering the problem, challenging acceptance, struggling for a resolution and coming to terms. The majority of participants experienced a feeling of spiritual strengthening or spiritual awakening as they came to terms with their fertility problem in their journey. Although infertile women mostly worked through this process in a coordinated fashion, variations in the process happened because of different orientations towards religion. Conclusion: I argue that such a theory contributes to a greater understanding of the experience of infertility in a religious and spiritual context. It represents an initial attempt to conceptualize this experience and further studies are needed to validate this initial substantive theory, both in order to better understand religious and spiritual dimensions of infertility and to formalize this theory by testing it in other relevant areas. Key words: Infertility, religion, spirituality, feminist grounded theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available