Aims and objectives: To explore perceptions of family sense of coherence among infertile couples and to provide a theoretical interpretation of the comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness of couples’ experiences coping with infertility.
Background: Infertility is a devastating experience for many couples and can have long-lasting psychosocial consequences. Family sense of coherence has the potential to facilitate a couple's adjustment to the life crisis of infertility and may provide a useful conceptual lens to understand experiences of infertility.
Methods: Sixty-four couples with infertility participated in semi-structured interviews at subfertility clinics. Data were analysed using the constant comparative approach of grounded theory. COREQ guidelines were followed in reporting the study.
Results: Three major themes related to infertility emerged from the interviews: comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness. The couples experienced psychological strain while making cognitive sense of infertility. The significance of children, which is embedded in traditional Chinese culture, created a sense of meaning and purpose in couples’ lives and motivated them to mobilise both internal and external resources to cope with the demands of infertility and its treatment.
Conclusions: The findings indicate that the salutogenic model of family sense of coherence can contribute to our understanding of the experiences of infertility among Chinese couples.
Relevance to clinical practice: The results offer a theoretical framework that healthcare professionals can use to help couples cope with the life crisis of infertility by strengthening their sense of family coherence.
- family sense of coherence
ASJC Scopus subject areas