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Couples' experience of lifestyle change within the preconception and initial stages of subfertility treatment

Jordan, C. and Broderick, P. (2010) Couples' experience of lifestyle change within the preconception and initial stages of subfertility treatment. In: The Fertility Society of Australia, 29th Annual Scientific Meeting, A Healthy Start, 10-13 October 2010, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia.


The aim of this longitudinal study is to assess the psychological factors that influence lifestyle change in both the pre-conception and initial stages of infertility treatment for couples presenting for infertility treatment at a fertility centre. This study aims to establish the psychological factors that assist couples to commence lifestyle changes and the evolution of their relationship with the change. Letters of invitation to participate in the study were mailed to all new patients prior to their first consultation with a West Australian fertility clinic inviting them to participate in the study via a series of three interviews, to be conducted over a period of approximately three months. Twenty participants gave informed consent and participated on a voluntary basis. Thematic analysis of the interviews focused on participants’ experience of lifestyle change and how they made decisions about engaging with lifestyle change. Interview transcripts were assessed for recurring themes. To date all participants have some awareness of lifestyle factors, ranging from awareness of folate consumption to comprehensive awareness of the impact of environmental toxins. Couples seek support from each other or externally for information and with behaviour change. There is evidence of hopeful and "wishful" thinking. Participants are resourceful in identifying lifestyle information, but are often misled by unqualified resources and would benefit from concise public education health campaigns that would assist with engaging with timely lifestyle change and imperative fertility treatment as many are losing valuable years due to misinformation

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Copyright: The authors
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