Perception of family sense of coherence among Chinese couples with infertility

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • couples
  • family sense of coherence
  • infertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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