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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 1999 March;51(3):67-76

language: Italian

Research on doctor-patient relationship in an Artificial Insemination Centre

Codispoti O., Valli D.


Aims. To investigate, within the domain of the doctor-patient relationship in an Artificial Insemination Centre, whether not only a precise aetiological diagnosis about the physical impairment, but also an accurate analysis of the request of help by the infertile couple is actually performed. If the hidden meanings underlying many patients' requests for help are not investigated, there could be the risk of psychopathological developments.
Methods. Eight gynaecologists of the Artificial Insemination Centre staff and twenty-nine infertile couples who went to the Centre for a consultation about infertility were interviewed by means of two semistructured interviews, constructed after preliminary observations of the doctor-patient relationship. A qualitative content analysis was performed on the data so obtained.
Results. The results are that, although doctors felt that the problems were more complicated than they seemed to be, they had been trained to deal only with physical impairment, and not with so many underlying problems, like family and social ties, and even self-confidence as individuals and as a consistent couple.
Conclusions. The Centre generally provides two kinds of services: a precise aetiological diagnosis about the physical impairment, and, if it is possible, its correction. We assume it would be better if a third service were available for the couples: a Psychological Consultation Service, especially in case of risk of psychopathological developments.

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