Comparison of multiple psychological distress measures between men and women preparing for in vitro fertilization

Christina L. Wichman, Shawna L. Ehlers, Scott E. Wichman, Amy L. Weaver, Charles Coddington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare multiple measures of psychological distress between men and women preparing for IVF. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Outpatient, academic infertility clinic. Patient(s): One hundred sixty-two consecutive couples presenting for infertility treatment with IVF. Intervention(s): Measures were completed as part of a routine, infertility-focused psychological evaluation, including the Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, State-Trait Anger Inventory, and Impact of Events Scale. Main Outcome Measure(s): Scores of above psychological questionnaires. Result(s): Psychological distress scores were statistically significantly higher among women than men for symptoms of depression, state anxiety, infertility specific distress, and general perceived stress. However, aside from infertility-specific distress (d = .43), effect sizes for the paired differences between females and males ranged from d = .18 to .23. Conclusion(s): Women consistently scored higher on multiple measures of psychological distress than their male partners in the context of preparing for IVF. Comparison of infertility-specific distress scores yielded the largest statistically and clinically significant difference compared with traditional measures of general depression and anxiety symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-721
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Infertility
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • in vitro fertilization
  • psychological distress
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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