Endurance with partnership: a preliminary conceptual framework for couples undergoing in vitro fertilisation treatment

Liying Ying, Lai Har Wu, Xiangli Wu, Jing Shu, Jean Tak Alice Loke Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background/objectives: Infertility affects both women and men in the physical, emotional, existential, and interpersonal realms. When couples seek in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, they further suffer from the difficulties of the treatment and the uncertainty of its outcome. The aim of this study was to develop a preliminary conceptual framework for couples undergoing IVF treatment to give health professionals a better understanding of the experiences of such couples, and to guide the development of an intervention. Methods: The process of identifying frameworks adopted in intervention studies confirmed that there is no established framework for infertile couples undergoing IVF treatment. A skeletal framework identified from previous studies provides an internal structure for the proposed framework for couples undergoing IVF treatment, filled out with concepts drawn from a concept analysis and a qualitative study, knitting the structure together. Results: This preliminary framework is the Endurance with Partnership Conceptual Framework (P-EPCF). It consists of four domains: the impacts of infertility and stressors, dyadic mediators, dyadic moderators and dyadic outcomes. According to the P-EPCF, the impacts of infertility and IVF treatment can be mediated by the couples’ partnership and dyadic coping. Improvements in the psychological well-being and marital functioning of IVF couples can then be expected. Conclusions: The P-EPCF would be potentially valuable in guiding the development of a complex, couple-based intervention, which could focus on enhancing the partnership of couples and their coping strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-157
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2018


  • Conceptual framework
  • coping
  • in vitro fertilisation
  • infertile couples
  • partnership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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